Mini preview: West Ham, odds and an air of optimism

West Ham have played some decent football recently and put in performances worthy of staying up. They are also at their most dangerous at home. Add to that, three points for them tomorrow and they could leave the relegation zone. I'm trying to stress that tomorrow isn't going to be easy.

Proof of their fairly impressive of late home record can be seen not so far back. They scored five against Burnley and three against Liverpool and Stoke in the League, picking up six points and only conceding two goals in the three matches. You don't get results like that unless the football is good and you're up for it, even against Championship opposition.


Our record on the other hand, especially away from home, is horrible (only one team has won less than us on their travels this season). We need that to change tomorrow if we are to get three points and there is every chance it could, especially if West Ham play like they did against Bolton last time out.

But I have to be honest, I don't think they will. They are at home and they are going to be a different team. If they were playing any other team than Manchester United last time out at home, they would have won that too. Tomorrow is going to be very tough.

Last time out

Remember the 3-0 at Villa Park? If you don't read this post from August last year. There was an enormous air of optimism after that match and the likes of Marc Albrighton, Ciaran Clark, Barry Bannan and Andreas Weimann all featured. My optimism, I think, came from that and the slogan of bright future we've read so often the past few years.

But that was then. This is now. this time out we are going to see Jean Makoun, Darren Bent and Kyle Walker feature - three players not at the club when we played West Ham last time and three players that I think are going to become very important players for Aston Villa. More optimism from me.

Best match odds

Prediction

For Aston Villa to win, we need to see Stewart Downing, Ashley Young and Darren Bent proper up for this match. Those three are our current match winners. I think Jean Makoun might become a player like that next season, but in a different way, but if he starts to play like I suspect he can, he can also play a part.

We are also going to need our back four to be sharp tomorrow because West Ham are going to create chances and they will likely score, but if they are on their game, they wont score that many, which is why we need our match winners to be proper up for it.

If I was going to have a bet on this match tomorrow, I'd put a fiver on the draw. West Ham are going to be up for this, but I think we will be too.

Updates, team news and banter

So, seeing as I'm leaving rumours where they should be left, that is it from me today. Tomorrow we will have the usual match post, team news as we get it and updates here and on Twitter. If you want to join in, come back just after your lunchtime pint tomorrow. I'll be here.

Travel warning
If you are going to the game tomorrow, be aware that the Underground is a mess at the best of times, but more so tomorrow. Click here for an update as to what is and isn't available to you.