HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!!
Saturday 18th August 2012
Kick off – 15:00pm UK
West Ham are back in the Premiere League and the task for their manager, Sam Allardyce, is clear – prevent the club suffering a fifth top-flight relegation in 24 years. He is aiming higher and wants his players to start the new campaign with a victory. That could prove tough against an Aston Villa side now under the charge of Paul Lambert, who, unlike his predecessor Alex McLeish, has the backing of the club's supporters. James Collins, who moved from Villa to West Ham in the summer, will make his home debut this afternoon.
Probable starters in bold, contenders in light
Referee Mike Dean
Subs from Henderson, Spiegel, Reid, O'Brien, Potts, Spence, Diarra, O'Neil, Maïga, Maynard, Baldock, Piquionne, Driver, Moncur, Hall, Tombides
Doubtful Diarra (match fitness), Maïga (match fitness), Nolan (toe)
Injured Collison (knee, unknown)
Disciplinary record (last season) Y63 R6
Leading scorer (last season) Cole 14
Subs from Guzan, Marshall, Weimann, Stevens, Herd, Gardner, Bannan, Carruthers, Baker, Warnock, Hutton
Injured Delfouneso (thigh, 25 Aug), Agbonlahor (knee, 15 Sep), Albrighton (metatarsal, 22 Sep), Dunne (groin, 30 Sep), Petrov (leukaemia, unknown)
Disciplinary record (last season) Y71 R2
Leading scorer (last season) Bent 9
• These sides met on the opening day two seasons ago, with Villa winning 3-0 at home
• Only relegated Wolves (23) dropped more points from winning positions than Villa (22) last season
• West Ham have won only one of their last 11 top-flight meetings with Villa
• Villa scored fewer headed goals (three) than any other side in the Premier League in 2011-12
• Ricardo Vaz Tê scored 20 league goals for Barnsley and West Ham last season but managed only three during almost seven years at Bolton
I think the Villa will be in the top half of the table tonight, just, and probably similar at the end of this season. Injury list looks bad ...
Villa win 1-0