Aston Villa host West Ham United on Monday night in the Premier League, a match where two sides with a lot of promise will face off.
The Villans, despite being 18th, will be optimistic of their chances against the Hammers as they have been good in spurts this season, and need to replicate that over the course of 90 minutes.
Villa face a West Ham side that are seventh in the league with seven points from four games. The Hammers have a strong side, managed by experienced manager Manuel Pellegrini, who will be the favourites going into the match, despite playing away from home.
But Villa could spring a surprise with the talented pool of players that they have. Let’s take a look at 3 players West Ham must stop to beat Aston Villa:
One of the most impressive players in the Premier League so far has been Aston Villa centre-back Tyrone Mings, whose good form earned him an England call-up.
The 26-year-old has the most clearances (39), headed clearances (19) and most blocks (9) so far this season and has been a colossal figure at the back for the newly-promoted side.
Mings wins almost everything in the air which means that the Hammers should instead play the ball in behind him and use players with pace to test the centre-back.
The England man is also a good passer of the ball from the back. The Hammers could perhaps use Manuel Lanzini or another midfielder to close down the ball and not let Mings to pass the ball from the back.
John McGinn has probably been one of Villa’s best players this season along with Mings. McGinn, who was in superlative form last year in the Championship, and has continued that good form in the Premier League too.
McGinn has scored one goal and assisted another in four games, while making an average of 1.5 key passes and 1.8 dribbles each game.
The Hammers should not give McGinn time and space on the ball, and also not allow him to pass the ball forward, or allow him to run with the ball.
Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish is perhaps the most gifted player in the Villa squad. Grealish is yet to hit his stride in the Premier League this season, but is a dangerous player in midfield alongside McGinn.
Grealish has a pass percentage of 87.1% and is a player who rarely gives away the ball.
The 24-year-old also has the ability to drift past players with his dribbling, which is one of the reasons why the Hammers must keep a close eye on him.