Aston Villa v West Ham: It's not going to be pretty football but it should be a win for the home side

I don't really rate Andy Carroll but he will get goals for West Ham and he will possibly keep them up. I'm also quite happy that he's not playing today because chances are West Ham will have most of the ball and with Sam Allardyce as manager, chances are going to be created for a big man up front.

But I do think we'll win today. West Ham are in the bottom three and while confidence will be slightly higher at the moment due to recent performances, you're only going to need to knock these players hard and they'll be back down again.

Let me put it another way, without someone to get on the end of the long ball football at West Ham, they could have gone down. They'd have done well getting Grant Holt for the rest of the season but someone else got him instead.

Sad times for West Ham though when they have to play long ball football to survive. But when you've got the owners they've got, you shouldn't be surprised if you end up in the Championship.

The match

Today isn't going to be pretty and don't be surprised if it's last on Match of the Day but also don't be surprised if the game ends 4-3 to us because defensively, we're about as good as West Ham and it could be one of those matches.

But my head says it isn't going to be pretty but it is a game we have to win. We might be in 10th place but we're five points from the bottom three. And that is why it's a big game for West Ham too and why we have to knock them down quickly and remind them why they are in the bottom three.

It's not about the football today and when you start the season so badly and play football the wrong way for such a large portion of it, it becomes a scrap and we have to be happy with the results and sadly give up on the hope that the performances will get better. Although they will for us.

We're starting to look a little like we did around this time last season and that is comforting and something to, after I've written what I have above, to be hopeful for. But most important thing to day is the three points.

Updates and team news

So, with all that written we prepare ourselves for an afternoon of what will quite possibly be edge of the seat stuff. We need this win, but it isn't as straightforward as we would maybe have hoped.

But I do think we'll get it and I think we are going to start to see our season turnaround today. Not because we start to play really good football, but because we start to do the simple things the right way and get the result that we need to get, however messy it might be.

I'll be back at 2pm with the team and any updates, if they come in, will be posted below. No score prediction from me as this could be anything today. But I do think we'll win.