Aston Villa’s destiny is in their own hands when they travel to West Ham for the final game of the Premier League season on Sunday.
Dean Smith’s side were staring down the barrel on Tuesday morning, but by the evening they may have just saved their season after an extraordinary 1-0 win over Arsenal took them out of the bottom three on goal difference.
Watford had the upper hand in both points and goal difference prior to that match, but the landscape has changed drastically after their 4-0 defeat to Man City. They’ve since swapped places with Villa and need to emulate their relegation rivals by picking up a result against Arsenal on the final day of the season. Even that may not be enough if Villa win, though.
Hayden Mullins, the current interim coach of Watford, will be praying his old side West Ham are not resting on their laurels when they take on Villa after their safety was mathematically confirmed with a point at Old Trafford against Man Utd in midweek.
But the objective is simple for Villa: beat West Ham, remain in the Premier League (providing Watford don’t completely batter Arsenal, which seems unlikely). Will David Moyes add one final layer of drama to this nail-biting finish? Or can Smith rally the troops and secure three points, and in turn, retain their top-flight status?
Where to watch West Ham vs Aston Villa on TV:
- UK: BT Sport
- US: NBCSN
Where to live stream the game:
US: Fubo* are streaming as selection of the fixtures in the 2019/20 Premier League final day. Those interested in streaming West Ham vs Aston Villa live can take advantage of a seven-day free trial by following the steps below.
- Click on this link.
- ‘Start Your Free Trial’ and enter details.
- Log in and pick your desired channel to watch.
*Geo restrictions apply. Fubo is currently available in the United States, Canada and Spain. Packages and pricing differ per country.
West Ham & Aston Villa’s previous line-ups:
- West Ham (vs Man Utd): Fabianski; Johnson, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell*; Rice, Soucek, Noble, Bowen*, Fornals; Antonio
- Aston Villa (vs Arsenal): Reina; Elmohamady*; Konsa, Mings, Targett; McGinn, Luiz, Hourihane; Trezeguet, Grealish, Samatta.
Ryan Fredericks is unlikely to be back for the last game of the season so academy product Ben Johnson, who has impressive immensely, will continue to deputise in his absence. Jarrod Bowen and Aaron Cresswell both went off injured in the 1-1 draw with Man Utd and face late fitness tests.
For Villa, they will be without right-back Ahmed Elmohamady, who started and went off injured against Arsenal. His replacement in midweek, Frederic Guilbert, is likely get the nod at the London Stadium. Wesley, Thomas Heaton and Bjorn Engels all remain on the treatment tables.
Players to watch:
West Ham: The renaissance under David Moyes has been impressive once again, and he has guided the club to safety for the second time in just three seasons. Faithful Hammers collectively doff their proverbial caps to the Glaswegian. But, his task would not have this smooth were it not for the players he brought in during the winter window. Jarrod Bowen has been exceptional, bringing a vibrancy and panache to the flanks, but the standout man has been Tomas Soucek. His lanky frame and goalscoring prowess has naturally drawn comparisons with a certain Moyes favourite, Marouane Fellaini. But the Czech Republican is much more than just an aerial threat, or a presence in the attacking third. He is a man who seemingly possesses more than two lungs, and has a positional intelligence that allows him to just be in the right place at the right time. His tireless running has brought the best out of Declan Rice and has even allowed Mark Noble to push on in an unorthodox No. 10 role, which led to the Gary Neville comparing the West Ham captain to Alessandro Del Piero in the draw at Old Trafford.
Aston Villa: Villa have had a few notable performers this season, John McGinn and Tyrone Mings to name two, but the West Midlands clubs would be dead and buried were it not for the game-changing exploits of Jack Grealish. The Villa skipper is a difference-maker in every sense, winning countless fouls in dangerous areas of the pitch at one end while easing pressure at the other. He carries the ball with such skill and determination, and he is not afraid to get his shorts muddy or have a crack from 20+ yards out. For this final game of the season, Villa will need their main man, their survival firebrand, to once again lead by example and get the job done against an in-form West Ham.
Scoreline prediction: West Ham 1-1 Aston Villa
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Premier League 2019/20 recent form:
- West Ham: DWWLD
- Aston Villa: WDWLL