Struggling West Ham United travel to Aston Villa looking for back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time this season.
The home side looked set to cement their place in the top half and move further clear of the relegation zone last time out, only to concede twice in the final quarter of their game at Everton to lose 2-1. The Toffees’ late comeback ensured that Villa are now only five points ahead of the bottom three and as a result are still unable to rest that little bit easier.
West Ham delivered arguably their best performance of the season against Swansea City. Rock-solid in defence, they looked very much like the team that finished 10th last season in attack as the partnership between Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan was finally renewed with excellent results. However, Carroll’s second half sending off means he could be suspended for three games, although the FA are still to make a decision.
Jores Okore and Libor Kozak are both long-term absentees for Aston Villa, but the hosts are hopeful that Gabriel Agbonlahor and Ron Vlaar can play a part after respective injuries.
Aside from the situation concerning Carroll, West Ham have doubts over Joe Cole and Mohamed Diame, although Winston Reid could make his first Premier League start since returning from an injury.
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