Aston Villa will look to climb out of the relegation zone when they welcome West Ham United to Villa Park on Monday evening. The Villans are 18th in the Premier League table after picking up three points from their first four matches. Dean Smith’s men started the season with a 3-1 defeat to Tottenham before they were unable to get past Bournemouth.
They eventually got off the mark after beating Everton 2-0 but were brought back down to earth after losing 1-0 to Crystal Palace. Smith’s side can make it back-to-back wins on home soil this week although only three teams had secured more points than the Hammers before the international break.
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The Midlands club signed 12 new players to try and help them compete in the top flight and their new-look squad will be eager to help them secure back-to-back top-flight wins for the first time since May 2015.
Smith will be without forward Jonathan Kodjia for Monday’s game as he continues to recover from a fractured cheekbone. He has had surgery to repair the issue suffered in training, with Kodjia set to miss the next three weeks of action.
Both James Chester and Matt Targett have returned to training but Monday’s game comes too soon for the pair, while midfielder Trezeguet is suspended after his red card in the 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace.
Hammers coach Manuel Pellegrini also has injury worries, with two players set to sit it out.
The international break is done and dusted and we’re back in action tonight at Villa Park! COME ON YOU IRONS!! pic.twitter.com/Hvme7loK3M
— West Ham United (@WestHam) September 16, 2019
Defender Winston Reid and forward Michail Antonio are both out, with the latter a long-term absentee. Striker Sebastian Haller will once again lead the line and he is the man to watch, having scored three goals in as many league matches.
After a slow start to the season, West Ham are now in a great position and a win could see them move up to third.