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West Ham-Aston Villa: Open match thread and lineups

Join us to discuss what will doubtlessly be one of the most enthralling battles of our time.

Tom Dulat

How excited are you? I mean, honestly, West Ham versus Aston Villa. If those five words don't get your motor running, you'd best check your pulse because clearly you are dead. Villa hasn't won since September, and that promising start has began to fade from the minds of supporters and pundits alike. West Ham should be beatable, but they're West Ham so it's never as easy as it seems.

Bold prediction: there are a lot of aerial balls played deep in the air. Also, Sam Allardyce will be caught on camera looking super gross. A win for Villa means it's back to the safety of the mid-table pack, while a loss will likely put them down among the stragglers for the first time this season. It's far too early for that to really matter, but it's still not an especially nice feeling. Let's avoid it, shall we? There's a whole run of completely winnable games ahead, and it would be nice to enter it on a high note.

Aston Villa Starting XI

Brad Guzan; Nathan Baker, Ron Vlaar, Ciaran Clark, Matthew Lowton; Leandro Bacuna, Karim El Ahmadi, Andi Weimann, Ashley Westwood, Yacouba Sylla; Christian Benteke

Aston Villa Subs

Jed Steer, Nicklas Helenius, Chris Herd, Aleksandar Tonev, Daniel Johnson, Jordan Bowery, Libor Kozak

West Ham United Starting XI

Jussi Jaaskelainen; Winston Reid, James Tomkins, Razvan Dinca Rat, Guy Demel; Matthew Jarvis, Jack Collison, Mark Noble, Stewart Downing; Kevin Nolan, Ravel Morrison

West Ham United Subs

Adrian, Joey O'Brien, Daniel Potts, Mohamed Diame, Joe Cole, Modibo Maiga, Carlton Cole