Aston Villa v West Ham: Premier League – live! | Football
Peeeeep! Mike Dean toots on his whistle!
13 min: Close! Grealish makes an overlap – well, an underlap really – down the right and fires a brilliant ball in for Wesley, and it seems any touch will put the ball in, but it pings off the striker’s head and somehow flies high & wide!
Our man at the game has also spied Gazza S.
11 min: Will he see a goal now? El Ghazi is felled by Diop out on the left and not too far outside the penalty area. Villa send up the cavalry. Grealish whips it in dangerously and Fabianski clutches it very well.
9 min: Gareth Southgate is here. He’s watching a match that has so far flickered interestingly enough.
7 min: I can confirm that West Ham have just played a long goal kick, which landed plum on the head of Haller and then, via Yarmolenko, to Noble. His thud from distance was straight at Heaton.
5 min: Lovely move from West Ham, who keep possession for a long time before Fredericks skips free on the right. Haller touches his centre back for Yarmolenko but the Ukrainian’s shot is deflected behind. The corner is cleared.
Useful litmus test tonight.
2 min: Early promise that we could see an open game. Rice has to hold firm to stop McGinn bundling through and getting a shot on goal.
We are underway … West Ham kick us off and shoot right to left.
Ok, the teams are strolling out at Villa Park – kick-off is around four minutes away I reckon …
It’s Manuel Pellegrini’s 66th birthday! Happy birthday, Manuel! “I want three points instead of the cake,” he says. It’s a wonder he ever gave Yaya Toure a game at Man City.
On the subject of Nakamba, who’s your favourite Premier League old boy from Zimbabwe? Pick from (1) Bruce Grobbelaar (2) Peter Ndlovu and (3) Benjani, and show your working.
More reading for thine eyes before we get going. Here’s Will Unwin on the power battle inside Sheffield United, another newly-promoted side:
On me telly Gary Neville is quite rightly taking us through Norwich’s brilliant building from the back at the weekend. When it works, it’s sensational – no doubt about that at all.
Dean Smith on Nakamba: “Douglas Luiz has been playing for Brazil and it tires people out going back and forth. Marvelous has been training very well.”
I fancy both teams to make use of a handy outball – Wesley and Haller both know how to lead a line – if passing out from the back isn’t possible. You don’t *have* to play out from the keeper, much as it can be lovely! Do we think that in five years’ time there’ll have been a massive kick back and proper Crazy Gang up-and-unders will be a la mode?
Villa give a debut to Marvelous Nakamba, the absolutely spiffing Zimbabwe midfielder. The Hammers are unchanged.
Aston Villa: Heaton, Guilbert, Engels, Mings, Taylor, Grealish, Nakamba, McGinn, Jota, Wesley, El Ghazi. Subs: Douglas Luiz, Lansbury, Steer, Hourihane, Konsa, Elmohamady, Davis.
West Ham: Fabianski, Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Masuaku, Noble, Rice, Yarmolenko, Lanzini, Felipe Anderson, Haller. Subs: Balbuena, Zabaleta, Snodgrass, Roberto, Fornals, Wilshere, Ajeti.
Referee: Mike Dean
It’s the claret and blue derby. Or should that be the David Cameron derby? Given that he’s everywhere you look at the moment we don’t really need to go there though. Let’s settle on this: it should be a rattling good game to round off a distinctly curious Premier League weekend.
West Ham have been fun so far. Fun, fun, fun, with some in-form strikers and a free-flowing forward line. Villa have impressed, too, in beating Everton and were mightily unlucky not to draw in that controversial clash at Crystal Palace. So this one looks as if it will be very close to call. But the carrot for Manuel Pellegrini’s side tonight is huge – if they take the three points, they’ll go third in the early-season table. They couldn’t, could they … etcetera and so forth. Probably not, but it’d be fun to see them having a pop at the top dogs.
Let’s see if they can! Or if Villa can keep up the generally impressive starts we’ve seen from the promoted clubs. Perhaps we’ll even see at least one of these teams attempt a long goal kick! The heresy! Stay with us, and get your emails and tweets in throughout the evening if you fancy a chatter.
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