This really is a strange season in the Premiership. As we approach the run in the bottom half of the table is more compressed than it has ever been in living memory, in part because of a series of unexpected results that lay evidence to the fact that even the smaller clubs all have squads that can get results - especially when at home.
And so yesterday's win for Bournemouth's over Liverpool along with Everton's victory over Brentford has shunted Moyes' men back into the bottom three, adding pressure for today's clash with Villa.
The Hammers have a decent record over recent times against our claret n blue rivals from the Midlands, but Unai Emery has done a great job since taking over and in reality 12th placed Villa look safe with 34 points on the board. Today will reveal whether Villa lack hunger or play better when under less pressure to get results.
Here are five key pressure points for the Hammers ahead of the game:
1. Zouma is back and we have missed him. Finally, Moyes can play his preferred pairing of Zouma and Aguerd. The game time in midweek against Larnacca will also have helped the pair gel.
2. Antonio is scoring again. With a brace in midweek under his belt, Hammers fans will recognise that Michail is a mood player and prone to goal droughts with scoring binges. Expect him to start today.
3. Danny Ings is the clsssic ex-player who pops up to haunt old clubs and will be looking to punish Villa today - probably from a substitute role.
4. Benrahma is in great form and Bowen is close to the zone, giving Moyes men a decent threat from the wide attacking positions up. Villa can be a bit clunky out wide so hopefully we can get our full backs forward to add to the pressure.
5. Apart from the Brighton implosion, our form of late has been decent, especially at home.
Rory Nostradamus is predicting a 2-1 home win.
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