Premier League

West Ham United-Aston Villa Preview

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard believes his side will "get there in the end" as they prepare to host West Ham United on Sunday.

It has been a mixed start to the season for the Villans, who have won one and lost two of their opening three matches. Their last outing was a 3-1 defeat away at Crystal Palace. But Gerrard is confident his side will eventually get it right.

"We've got a lot of talent and ability in the group but that doesn't guarantee you consistency," he told reporters. "There are a lot of things that need to fall into place. I believe we'll get there in the end. I didn't expect any quick fix or overnight fix. We're certainly working every minute we can to improve the team and get to those consistent levels."

The long-term Achilles injury to new signing Diego Carlos has not helped matters, and Gerrard has not ruled out signing a replacement before the end of the window.

"Defensively, we had a huge setback in recent weeks," the 42-year-old added. "So we continue to work and analyse if there's anyone who can come in and help us. Until that happens, we work with what we've got to try and improve every single day."

This weekend's opponents, West Ham, finished seventh last season but currently sit bottom of the Premier League and without a point having lost their opening three matches this campaign.

They did secure their place in the Europa Conference League group-stages with a 6-1 aggregate win over Viborg, but coach David Moyes has emphasised the importance of getting their first league points on the board at Villa Park.

"It's hugely important. We'll do everything we can to get started," said Moyes. "We want to play well, we want to win and you need good performances to get results and at the moment the performances haven't been good enough to get results."

Aston Villa – Ollie Watkins

Watkins has been involved in seven goals in his last nine Premier League appearances for Aston Villa (4 goals, 3 assists), scoring in Villa's defeat at Crystal Palace last time out. The Hammers will have to keep a close eye on the former Brentford forward.

West Ham United – Declan Rice

The 23-year-old has had another solid start to the season, leading his team in recoveries (32), duels won (17) and number of times winning possession (32). He will be imperative for West Ham if they are to get a positive result at Villa Park.

- Aston Villa have won just one of their last 12 Premier League games against West Ham (D5 L6) and are winless in their last eight since a 1-0 win in May 2015.

- West Ham have won their last two Premier League away games against Aston Villa, as many as in their previous 19 visits (D9 L8). The Hammers have won these games 3-1 and 4-1, having not scored more than twice in any of their previous 34 league games at Villa Park.

- This is West Ham's 1,000th Premier League game (W335 D253 L411) – they are the ninth different side to reach the milestone, and second who did not compete in the competition's inaugural campaign, after Newcastle. The Hammers have lost more of their first 1000 than any of the previous eight sides.

- West Ham remain the only Premier League side to have both failed to score a goal or manage to pick up a single point this season. In English top-flight history, only four sides have ever lost their opening four matches of a campaign while also failing to score in each defeat: Derby County in 1899-00, Stoke City in 1906-07, Preston North End in 1924-25, and Crystal Palace in 2017-18.

- Aston Villa have lost three of their last five Premier League matches when scoring first (W1 D1) – since Steven Gerrard took charge of his first game last November, no team has lost more Premier League games after scoring first than the Villans (five, level with Southampton).

Updated August 27, 2022

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