Match day: Aston Villa at West Ham with updates, team news, odds and three points

Right now, we find ourselves in the eye of the storm. We've had the summer, the pre-season and the expected activity but now, it's all about to kick off. But before it does, can I suggest we take a moment.

What I mean is, lets try to not get carried away or let a few words determine our expectations or hopes. Take these three hours before it all starts going mad to try and remember why you love football.

It isn't because of Aston Villa, it's because of the playground. It's because of the friendship. It's because of that pass you made when you were 11 years old that cut through the midfield and just behind the defenders to meet the striker who scored and won your side the match. It's about the game.

Football is about the football and sure, Aston Villa is our side, but these things we already know; we're not going to win the league this season, we're not even going to finish in the top four and we also know that the game is not fair. We are starting a game in the full knowledge that it is broken and we're going to get all het up about it at some stage today, next week or next month and definitely before and after Christmas.

Right, I'm going to leave my sermon and start to go mad for nine months but I think you know what I mean.

Aston Villa at West Ham

So it is all about the match and as I've already predicted, I think we'll win. Not because of Lamber, but because we are playing a side that was only promoted after getting lucky in the playoffs and because they are manager by Sam Allardyce and don't let a season in the Championship fool anyone; Sam is Sam and we know exactly where his football will end up.

But yes, I'm excited and I'm keen for the team to do well, so before I leave you for now, let me promise you this; updates on Twitter and below in the comments, a forum of Villa Banter here and a report on the match tomorrow.

I'd like to promise you that I'll be the first with the team news but I'm usually always beaten and I'm often not the first with what is happening, so I'm going to stay silent on that. BUt before I go, a song to hopefully put things into perspective. Back in a couple of hours.


Team news

Given, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Baker, Holman, Delph, El Ahmadi, N’Zogbia, Ireland and Bent. On the bench we have Guzan, Herd, Weimann, Bannan, Lichaj, Burke and Gardner.