That was a big ol’ whoopin as promised. Twenty-two minutes in, Matty Cash got things started when he assisted Philippe Coutinho’s opening goal. He chimed back in with a goal of his own off a Danny Ings assist and proceedings were all but ended when Calum Chambers, center-back, hit a remarkable ball off of a Tyrone Mings assist into the top left corner in the seventy-third minute. I feel a little badly for Leeds, but not that badly.
On to this week, Aston Villa take on West Ham United. They’re a solid club, not really a “Big six”, but good enough to finish that high in the table. My only real antagonistic thought towards the Hammers is over the stadium move. You’ve got a place you’ve been at for roughly a century and you move? I’m certain there were good reasons, but that always struck me as a head scratcher.
As for the team, they’re very good as mentioned. Currently sitting in sixth in table, West Ham has lost the last three overall but are 1-1-1 in the last three league matches. They drew 1-1 at home to Newcastle United, bested Wolves 1-0 in London, and lost 1-0 at Liverpool. Their last played match was against Sevilla in the Europa League Round of 16 on Thursday, ending in a 1-0 loss. Players to watch out for include Declan Rice in midfield, Michail Antonio at forward, Manuel Lanzini in midfield, and Kurt Zouma at center-back.
For the Villa, things should remain largely unchanged. Emi Martinez remains in goal, with Lucas Digne playing left-back, Tyrone Mings and Calum Chambers featuring at center-back, and Matty Cash at right-back. The midfield is likely the only place to see a possible change, with Morgan Sanson and Emi Buendia pushing for minutes. It’s hard to see Buendia starting over Philippe Coutinho, but I could see Sanson stepping in for Jacob Ramsey or John McGinn if a rest is needed. More likely the prior than the latter, but it’s just as likely we see the familiar trio of Douglas Luiz, Ramsey, and McGinn. Up front, Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings will partner.
PREDICTION: Not unlike last week, it looks like a win on paper. Also like last week, it feels weird to pick Villa to win games like this. The Hammers are missing Jarrod Bowen (eight goals and eight assists for the Premier League season) and in a bit of a light rut, but Declan Rice and company remain stiff competition that can and will beat you if you take a day off. That being said, Steven Gerrard’s squad doesn’t look to take a day off any time soon. I like Villa to scrape by with a 1-0 win.