Aston Villa Match Preview

David Moyes celebrated his 250th game in charge of West Ham United on Thursday as they beat German outfit SC Freiburg 5-1 on aggregate to extend their UEFA Europa League run. Now, they will be hoping to gain another three points and go into the March international break on a high when Aston Villa arrive in Stratford this afternoon.

The Hammers will look to build momentum again to try and clear the memories of the first-half showing against newly-promoted Burnley last weekend from their minds.

The home side might have a slight advantage here because despite the two teams both being involved in European action just three days ago, the encounter with SC Freiburg kicked off just over two hours earlier than Villa’s UEFA Europa Conference League match against Ajax. Having said that, neither team will be devoid of confidence.

Moyes had never lost a Premier League game against the Villains whilst in charge in East London until the reverse fixture back on 22 October so he will be hoping to gain revenge on Unai Emery’s side.

The visitors had a worse result than the Irons a week ago and will be desperate to bounce back from their 4-0 home defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.

Emmerson Palmieri picked up a groin injury in Germany ten days ago, meaning he has missed the last two games and Moyes revealed in his pre-match news conference ahead of this game on Friday that the defender will again be assessed.

Kurt Zouma and Edson Álvarez may retain their places from Thursday night’s victory, while Nayef Aguerd was dropped to the bench and could be back involved here.

Michail Antonio has made a big difference in the last week and he may earn a second consecutive start, while Alphonse Areola is expected to come back into the starting line-up in place of Łukasz Fabiański.

The match is a 2pm kick-off and the referee is Jarred Gillett.