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Aston Villa-West Ham United Preview

Aston Villa have enjoyed a strong start to the campaign, but Dean Smith insists he does not take his job home with him, as he readies his side to take on West Ham.

Villa lost 2-1 to Brighton and Hove Albion in their last game, losing the influential Ross Barkley to an injury early on.

The Villains sit seventh, with five victories and three defeats from their eight league matches so far, while West Ham are just a place - and a point - behind.

Smith, however, has revealed he advises other managers not to let the job become all encompassing, joking that the key is to buy a dog.

"I can't bring it home," Smith said in a discussion over mental health. "I do a lot of talks for the League Managers Association now and people are amazed when I tell them that once I step through my front door it's my home time.

"I've got my family, and I always say to every manager now, 'You need to get yourself a dog' because waking up every morning and taking your dog out gives me that me time. It gives me that head space about what I'm going to do in the day and how I'm going to do it. It works for me."

David Moyes, meanwhile, is looking forward to two much-improved sides going head-to-head.

"The last game of last season, Villa came to London Stadium needing something to stay up. We'd just secured that in the game before, so I think this game shows the improvement from both sides," Moyes said.

"We've had a lot of confidence really from the start. We've felt as if we've played well and we've been improving, which is what I want us to do."

West Ham - Sebastien Haller

Haller followed up making his Ivory Coast debut with a superbly taken winner against Sheffield United, and has played his way back into being a regular starter during Michail Antonio's injury enforced absence.

Aston Villa - Trezeguet

Trezeguet missed a glaring chance against Brighton. He has had more shots without scoring than any other player in the Premier League this season (19). The Egyptian also has the highest expected goals figure of players yet to score this term (two), and seems due a goal.

•Villa are winless in their last five Premier League away games against West Ham (D3 L2), failing to score in four of those visits since a 2-1 win in April 2011.

•However, they have won their last two Premier League games in London, as many as they had in their previous 21 in the capital (D3 L16). They have not won three consecutive top-flight games in London since February 1990.

•West Ham have won their last two Premier League games by a 1-0 scoreline - they last won three in a row in May 2019, while they last won three consecutively without conceding in February 2014.

•Villa are looking to win four consecutive Premier League away games for the first time since a run of seven between November 2008-February 2009. That run included a 1-0 victory at West Ham.

•Jack Grealish has won a foul in each Premier League game he's featured in since the start of 2019/20, a run of 44 matches. The last English player to win a foul in as many consecutive Premier League appearances was Kevin Davies between October 2005 and August 2007 (59 in a row).

Updated November 27, 2020

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