ASTON VILLA welcome West Ham to Villa Park for Monday Night Football. Matthew Kirby (@M_Kirby95) delivers his betting analysis.
Aston Villa v West Ham | Monday 16th September 2019, 20:00 | Sky Sports
The Sky Sports cameras head to Villa Park for Monday Night Football, as West Ham travel to Aston Villa in the final game of match round five.
West Ham have had their best start to a season since 2012/13 when ‘Big’ Sam Allardyce was in charge, so they’ll be buoyant, as they look to build on their strong start.
Dean Smith’s Villa recorded just one win prior to the international break, but that did come on a Monday night in front of a live television audience when Everton arrived in the Second City.
The hosts have been competitive since promotion and were a tad unfortunate to come away from the capital empty-handed after a 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace where Trzeguet was also dismissed.
Hard to split
I can’t split these two sides despite their contrasting form. It will come down to who is the most ruthless on the night, and, for me, West Ham have the better attacking options.
When you look at some of the stats so far, it backs up why some bookies have this as a pick ‘em. West Ham have had two more shots (47-45), while the Hammers have seen more of those efforts hitting the target (24-16).
On top of that, the visitors arrive here with a much higher Expected Goals (xG) count: Aston Villa 0.98 – 2.11 West Ham.
Given all that, and the fact I’m expecting this to be a close game, taking West Ham (97/100 Bet365) in the Asian Handicap market could be a safer play than the 17/10 to win outright. The 0 start on the Asian Handicap is the same backing the Hammers in the Draw No Bet market, so if the points are shared, the bet is void – it’s a winner if the points head south.
Summer signing Sebastien Haller has made an instant impact since joining West Ham. The 25-year-old has bagged three goals in his last two games for the capital club and his conversion rate is pretty decent too.
The French-born forward has taken nine shots, six of those have been on-target with three finding the back of the net. So far, he’s proved pretty good business.
With Haller leading the line, he’s the goal-threat, but the Villa defence will have to be on guard with Manuel Lanzini also on the scene. The Argentine has created 14 chances already with only Man City’s Kevin de Bruyne (16) creating more. Despite those numbers, just one of those chances created has turned into an assist, but he’s one of those players that is always a livewire. Throw in further options of Pablo Fornals, Andriy Yarmolenko and Felipe Anderson then this West Ham side will pose plenty of question to this Villa backline.
Given the impact Haller has made already, plus what he achieve at Eintracht Frankfurt last season, then he looks a very solid goalscorer angle – he’s netted 15 in his last 25 appearances for both clubs and is 17/10 (Betfair) to add to that tally here.
Stealing the limelight
It has to be mentioned that flamboyant character Mike Dean is the man with the whistle. The man from the Wirral took charge of West Ham’s 4-0 home defeat to start the season against Man City where he showed four cautions with Anderson and Fabio Balbuena the duo that ended up in his book for the Hammers.
Given he’s not afraid of showing cards, it’s worth noting that West Ham sit second for fouls committed (86), while Villa have been penalised 67 times.
When Dean’s around I do always think about cards and John McGinn is the obvious candidate for Villa. He’s all-action and so far has made 17 tackles, plus given away five fouls.
For the Hammers, Declan Rice has made 14 tackles with Arthur Masuaku on 13, so West Ham’s left-back and defensive midfielders could fall under scrutiny in a game that could prove somewhat of a battle in the middle third.