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Opponent Spotlight: The lads from We Are West Ham Podcast are predicting a close battle at Villa Park!

We chatted to the lads from We Are West Ham Podcast ahead of today’s game to find out more about what the Hammers have to offer. What can Aston Villa expect from David Moyes and his side?

Sport-Club Freiburg v West Ham United FC: Group A - UEFA Europa League 2023/24 Photo by Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Domestically, West Ham struggled last season in the Premier League, finishing in 14th place on 40 points. On the European stage, however, The Hammers thrived and became the Europa Conference League champions, which was the first European trophy for the football club since the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1965 – considering all of the ups and downs throughout the entirety of last season, was the rollercoaster ride of emotions worth it all?

We Are West Ham Podcast: Absolutely. Of course we want to be successful in the Premier League, but I experienced something for the first time in my life last season.

Of course it is not sustainable to just rely on European success to salvage your campaign every year, but the prize for doing well in the Premier League is European football, so what the hell is the point of working so hard to succeed domestically if you’re not going to value the prize (European football) when you get there.

I have been going to West Ham for more than 25 years and some of the best memories of my life have been made during the last two seasons in Europe so give me more of it I say.

David Moyes was under plenty of pressure last season and it’s fair to say that lifting the Europa Conference League trophy last season likely saved his job as West Ham boss – how would you assess the job that the Scotsman has done during his second spell at the club?

WAWHP: He’s one of our greatest managers of all-time. It’s probably John Lyall, Ron Greenwood, David Moyes.

You can see how we have started this campaign that last season’s league form was just a blip and we are looking good on several fronts once again. Anyone who moans about David Moyes has not been watching West Ham for as long as I have or they have really short memories because I have never enjoyed supporting the Hammers as much as I have during Moyesie’s second spell.

Bloke deserves a statue. Legend.

Sport-Club Freiburg v West Ham United FC: Group A - UEFA Europa League 2023/24
David Moyes may split opinions within certain areas of the West Ham fan base, but it’s clear to see that his second spell with the football club has been a complete success.
Photo by Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

It’s also fair to say that West Ham have carried the momentum from last season’s triumph in Europe into the current Premier League campaign, topping their group in the Europa League and sitting in seventh in the Premier League – what are the expectations this season?

WAWHP: I would absolutely love us to qualify for Europe again. Any of the competitions would be fine by me.

As with any cup competition, you are at the behest of the draw, so I think it is silly to say we should be getting to a certain stage of any of the domestic cups or the Europa League.

But if we get through the Europa League group, give a good account of ourselves in the knockouts, don’t go out of the domestic cups to anyone embarrassing and finish in the top eight of the Prem, I’ll be delighted.

Aston Villa’s record against West Ham has certainly taken a turn for the worse since being relegated at the conclusion of the 2015/2016 campaign, with Villa claiming a single win since then. With both sides looking to finish within the top six this season, what sort of match are you expecting to see at Villa Park on Sunday?

WAWHP: A tight, but entertaining affair.

I love watching Villa under Emery and have always wanted them to do well. You are flying at the moment and the thrashing of Brighton sent a real message to the rest of the Prem.

So while I hope we can continue our excellent record against Villa, I don’t necessarily expect us to and would be really pleased if we came away with a point.

Aston Villa v West Ham United - Premier League
The last time Aston Villa beat West Ham was during the 2014/2015 campaign, with Tom Cleverley scoring the lone goal at Villa Park.
Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images

What sort of lineup should we expect to see from West Ham on Sunday?

WAWHP: 4-3-2-1 — Areola; Coufal, Zouma, Aguerd, Emerson; Soucek, Ward-Prowse, Alvarez; Bowen, Paqueta; Antonio

West Ham took four points off of Villa last season, with a 1-0 win at Villa Park and a 1-1 draw at the London Stadium – what is your prediction for the final score?

WAWHP: 1-1.