Aston Villa will traverse toward London to face off against West Ham United in the Premier League this afternoon, with manager Unai Emery hoping to make it three successive victories in the division.

Villa have been impressive under Emery’s wing, casting aside the cobwebs of a poor start under Steven Gerrard and now boasting 34 points from 25 matches, three points off tenth-placed Chelsea with a game in hand.

Defeating Everton and Crystal Palace in the past two top-flight encounters, the Claret & Blue have kept consecutive clean sheets and go into the game against the Hammers knowing they can move within two points of European contention with a win, with West Ham currently languishing in the relegation zone, one point from safety.

Boubacar Kamara, Diego Carlos and Philippe Coutinho are all injured for the visitors, while industrious midfielder Leander Dendoncker is a doubt, leaving Emery sweating over the central partnership to combat the Irons engine.

How will Aston Villa line up against West Ham?

Considering this, here is how Football FanCast expects Aston Villa to line up at the London Stadium, with Emery making as many as three changes from the side that narrowly defeated the struggling Eagles last time out.

(4-4-2) – (GK) Martinez; (RB) Cash, (CB) Konsa, (CB) Mings, (LB) Digne; (RM) McGinn, (CM) Chambers, (CM) Luiz, (LM) Ramsey; (CF) Watkins, (CF) Bailey.

Emiliano Martinez will hold his unwavering position between the sticks, with a back four consisting of regular centre-back pairing Ezri Konsa and Tyrone Wings; on the left, Lucas Digne could reclaim his place in the side after sitting on the bench against Palace.

With the 6-foot “phenomenon” that is Kamara – as praised by former team-mate Rolando – and Dendoncker both injured, Emery might be forced to unleash Calum Chambers in the centre of the park alongside assiduous engine Douglas Luiz, who was subject to a £25m summer bid from Arsenal.

John McGinn might occupy the unconventional position on the right flank, having impressed with a 7.1 match rating last time out, as per Sofascore, while the £70k-per-week Jacob Ramsey will hope to score his first goal since November from the alternating wing.

The previously “dangerous” Emi Buendia – as dubbed by Andy Jones – struggled to make an impact last week with just one key pass, so the 5 foot 8 maestro could drop out.

As such, Leon Bailey returns to the starting fold, hailed as “fantastic” by former boss Gerrard but not quite hitting the blistering heights as expected at Villa Park, with the in-form Ollie Watkins adopting the central talismanic role.


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