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Aston Villa v West Ham: Updates, team news, hope, faith and banter

I've put a very specific word in the post title today; faith. I'm not a religious person and have, right now, little time for faith. But I know when I get older, I'll have faith, it's just want happens. But I'm starting to look for faith when it comes to Aston Villa.

Generally speaking, people find faith as they get older because it dawns on them that they're going to die and they want to believe that there is something else. Aston Villa, under Randy Lerner, is dying, so I'm turning to faith.

The match

But yesterday, results went our way. It would have been better if Manchester City had won, but it wouldn't have played a part in today. Today, it's all about winning and leaving the relegation zone, because that is possible.

And, we have a match that is more than winnable. Okay, West Ham have picked up more points away from home than we have at home this season, but we have to take faith from the performance last week, the change in formation to four at the back and the hope that, playing at home in a game we must win, can bring.

We have to believe that there is life after death.


Faith plays a big role in my prediction today. On paper, this game has draw written all over it for me, but a win takes us out of the bottom three and gives us hope, so I'm going for the win.

And the 6/4 price at Paddypower for us to win is fantastic value. Personally, I'm having the double of the day that includes Manchester United to win also and for that bet, you get 3/1. Odds for that bet here.

I know this isn't about Manchester United, but they gave away two late goals to draw against Everton last season and it was pivotal in their season and I can't see them doing it today. And I can also see us winning. I think we're still one of the favourites to go down, but we really are too big a club to be relegated and you have to have faith that Lambert can turn this around.

Updates, team news and banter

So, with that in mind, I'm going to church. I'll say a prayer for Aston Villa and I suggest you do too. We need all the help we can get.

Back in two or three hours.

The players

Starting today we have Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Baker, Westwood, Delph, N’Zogbia, Bowery, Weimann and Benteke. On the bench we have Given, Sylla, Bent, Bannan, Holman, Dawkins and Bennett.