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Premier League

  • 18 August 2012
  • • 15:00
  • • Boleyn Ground, London
  • Referee: M. Dean
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West Ham - Aston Villa Preview: Lambert starts new era with trip to newly-promoted Hammers

West Ham - Aston Villa Preview: Lambert starts new era with trip to newly-promoted Hammers

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The visitors have injury worries as Marc Albrighton, Richard Dunne and Gabriel Agbonlahor are all ruled out while James Collins could face his former club

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

WEST HAM


Jaaskelainen
Demel, Reid, Collins, O'Brien
Tomkins, Diame, Noble, Vaz Te
Maiga, Cole



ASTON VILLA


Given
Lichaj, Clark, Vlaar, Bannan
Ireland, El Ahmadi, Delph, N'Zogbia
Bent, Weimann


Sam Allardyce has had a busy summer in the transfer market this summer and new boys Jussi Jaaskelainen, Stephen Henderson, Mohamed Diame, Alou Diarra and Modibo Maiga could all make their debuts for West Ham.

George McCartney and James Collins, who have both returned to the club and could also feature with Collins set to face his former side. Captain Kevin Nolan should also be fit to play after recovering from a toe problem.

New Villa boss Paul Lambert, meanwhile, has also had a busy summer and new signings Ron Vlaar and Karim El Ahmadi should start for the visitors.

However, injuries have hit Villa hard with Marc Albrighton, Richard Dunne and Gabriel Agbonlahor all out while Steven Warnock and Alan Hutton are also unlikely to feature for Villa, having been overlooked by Lambert since he arrived.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • West Ham are unbeaten at Upton Park in 2012.
  • The two teams have met 105 times with both having 37 wins apiece and 31 games ending all square.
  • The Hammers have only won one of the last six meetings between the two clubs.
  • Aston Villa finished last season poorly, without a win in their last 10 league games.
  • Villa beat West Ham 3-0 on the opening day of the 2010/11 season, the last time the two clubs were both in the Premier League.
  • Gabriel Agbonlahor (pictured) stole all three points for the visitors when the two last met in April 2011 as he scored in injury time to seal a 2-1 win.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
22Jussi JaaskelainenGoalkeeper
2Winston ReidDefender
3George McCartneyDefender
19James CollinsDefender
20Guy DemelDefender
4Kevin NolanMidfielder
7Matthew TaylorMidfielder
16Mark NobleMidfielder
21Mohamed DiameMidfielder
9Carlton ColeStriker
12Ricardo Vaz TeStriker
13Stephen HendersonGoalkeeper
5James TomkinsDefender
17Joey O'BrienDefender
26Gary O'NeilMidfielder
23Alou DiarraMidfielder
23Nicky MaynardStriker
11Modibo MaigaStriker
31Shay GivenGoalkeeper
4Ron VlaarDefender
6Ciaran ClarkDefender
2Nathan BakerDefender
34Matthew LowtonDefender
32Stephen IrelandMidfielder
8Karim El AhmadiMidfielder
-Charles N'ZogbiaMidfielder
14Brett HolmanMidfielder
16Fabian DelphMidfielder
39Darren BentStriker
1Bradley GuzanGoalkeeper
43Eric LichajDefender
46Barry BannanMidfielder
17Chris HerdMidfielder
38Gary GardnerMidfielder
10Andreas WeimannStriker
36Graham BurkeStriker
Players to Watch
Modibo Maiga
Modibo Maiga
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 11
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The Mali striker has arrived at Upton Park after a prolific time with Sochaux and he will be hoping to score the goals that, at the very least, ensure the Hammers remain in the Premier League.

The 24-year-old can play up front, or out wide and should bring real power and pace to Sam Allardyce's men.
Ron Vlaar
Ron Vlaar
Position: Defender
Squad Number: 4
Games Goals YC RC
3 0 0 0
Defender Ron Vlaar has arrived from Feyenoord and Paul Lambert will hope he can bring some defensive stability to the Villans' backline.

The 27-year-old can also provide a threat at set pieces and he may be in for a busy afternoon as West Ham make their return to Premier League football in front of their own fans.
Prediction
Aston Villa have a good recent record against the Hammers, who open their top flight campaign at home.

Both side are expected to include new signings in the game but West Ham have been formidable at Upton Park so far this year and will be difficult to beat.
Editor's Prediction

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