Villa might have lost Jack Grealish over the summer, but an exciting transfer window for the club saw them bring in the likes of Emiliano Buendia, Leon Bailey and Danny Ings; as a result, expectations were high at the start of the season, but it has not quite been the start that the supporters would have expected.
Smith’s side ended September with back-to-back league wins over Everton and Manchester United, but they have now lost their last three in England’s top flight to Tottenham Hotspur, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal, conceding eight times in the process.
A record of three wins, one draw and five defeats has left them down in 13th position in the table on 10 points, and they will now be looking to bounce back against a West Ham side that are unbeaten in this fixture since May 2015, with the Hammers also winning both league meetings last term.
Villa found it difficult to compete at the Emirates Stadium in their last league game on October 22, falling three goals behind early in the second half before Jacob Ramsey netted a late consolation.
The home side have a very tough December on paper, taking on Manchester City, Liverpool, Leicester City, Liverpool and Chelsea, so the club’s supporters will be hoping that November is a successful month.
West Ham, on the other hand, have been excellent this season, with the London club impressively competing on three fronts in the Premier League, EFL Cup and Europa League.
The Hammers managed to progress to the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup on Wednesday night by beating the holders Man City on penalties, while they have won all three of their Europa League group-stage fixtures this term to sit top of Group H with nine points.
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In the Premier League, meanwhile, David Moyes’s side have won five, drawn two and lost two of their nine matches to collect 17 points, which has left them in fourth spot in the table, just five points off leaders Chelsea.
West Ham have won their last four games in all competitions, including their last two in the league, recording back-to-back 1-0 victories over Everton and Tottenham Hotspur, and the club will have to be taken seriously as top-four challengers this season if their strong form continues in the coming weeks.
The Hammers will welcome Liverpool to the London Stadium on November 7 ahead of the international break, but the contest with the Reds will come after a Europa League game against Genk in Belgium, where Moyes should rest a number of key players due to the strength of their position in the group