Avram Grant believes nine points from 18 will secure his side's Premier League status, while counterpart Gerard Houllier wants unbeaten end to a downtrodden campaign
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|West Ham: Green; Tomkins, Upson, Da Costa, Bridge; Parker, Hitzlsperger, Noble; Keane, Cole, Ba.
|Aston Villa: Friedel; L Young, Dunne, Collins, Walker; Downing, Petrov, Reo-Coker, Young; Agbonlahor, Bent.
- West Ham have only won one of their last nine Premier League games against Saturday’s visitors, with that victory coming in November 2009 at Upton Park, a match which saw Zavon Hines’ last-gasp strike cancelling out Ashley Young’s leveller.
- The east London side will be hoping to avenge this season’s opening game 3-0 away defeat at Villa Park, a loss which began a string of four defeats and left them rooted to the foot of the table.
- The visitors find themselves sat in 14th place in the Premier League with 37 points, just five points above the drop zone. West Ham are one place and one point below safety.
- The Hammers have conceded seven goals in their last 135 minutes of football, with their second-half capitulation against Manchester United followed by a 3-0 drubbing at the Reebok against Bolton.
- Aston Villa’s £24 million man Darren Bent will hope to take advantage of such lacklustre defending, having scored four goals in his last four away games in the Premier League.
- The Villans' only two away victories this season have come against sides whose names begin with the letter W, with the scoreline 2-1 in both September’s derby win against Wolves and January’s clash with Wigan.
- West Ham have conceded a joint high number of penalties with six so far this season, something which the cynics will have in mind considering the Premier League's most fouled player, Ashley Young, makes his way to Upton Park on Saturday. The 25-year-old’s gamesmanship came under scrutiny this week following comments from Newcastle United’s Ryan Taylor after he won a free-kick which led to James Collins' match-winning goal.
- Hammers boss Avram Grant believes 41 points will be enough to ensure Premier League survival this season, with nine points from the remaining six games needed to meet that target, yet they have only gained 19 points at home this season, the second worst record behind Blackpool.
- Villa boss Gerard Houllier has also laid down the gauntlet to his players, challenging them to go unbeaten for the remainder of the season, yet his side had picked up only six points from their past seven games before last Sunday’s 1-0 home victory over Newcastle United.
- The Frenchman will also hope if his side take the lead they can maintain it, having dropped 23 points from winning positions this year, or that an impact substitution may inspire the points. Don’t hold your breath though, Aston Villa are the only side in the Premier League not to have had a substitute score for them this season.
August 14, 2010: Aston Villa 3-0 West Ham
The season opener brought a positive start for then caretaker boss Kevin MacDonald, as the home side ran out 3-0 winners, with first half goals from Stewart Downing and Stiliyan Petrov followed by a strike from now Manchester City man James Milner in the second half.