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Predicted: David Moyes makes two West Ham changes for Aston Villa as man who cost him dear at both ends is benched

David Moyes makes two West Ham changes for Aston Villa as the man who cost him dear at both ends is benched.

West Ham are now hitting the pressure point of their season with the race for the European places seriously hotting up and it’s Villa next.

Aston Villa are a team on the rise and will be seeking a measure of revenge at the London Stadium after losing 4-1 to West Ham in the reverse fixture earlier this season.

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The Hammers have started to find some form in their play of late but have paid the price for their profligacy in the last three games which ended in defeat to Sevilla, Liverpool and Southampton.

Moyes’s boys will need to put that right when they take on Steven Gerrard’s in-form Aston Villa on Sunday if they want to keep the pace in the race for the European spots.

Its says everything about the contrasting form of the two clubs over the last few months that Aston Villa can close to within six points of West Ham with a win at the London Stadium.

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Gerrard has got a clear reaction since taking over at Villa Park and West Ham will need to be at their best to emerge with three points.

The world and its wife knows West Ham’s failure to add to their squad in January could prove a costly mistake.

Less than three days after their Europa League last 16 first leg against Sevilla – and with the huge second leg clash to come at the London Stadium on Thursday night – West Ham could do with resting key players.

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Predicted: David Moyes makes two West Ham changes for Aston Villa as man who cost him dear at both ends is benched

But with the race on for the European spots and West Ham’s thin squad, that is an impossibility for Moyes.

It is games like today’s against Villa which will go a long way to deciding where West Ham finish the season.

And Moyes will make two changes for Aston Villa with the man who cost him dear at both ends of the pitch benched.

That’s the verdict in our predicted team for today’s 2pm kick-off.

The first change will see number one Lukasz Fabianski come back in for Alphonse Areola.

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Many thought Moyes may elect to go with Fabianski in the Europa League after he vowed to pick his strongest possible team in every game from now until the end of the season. But Moyes stuck to his policy of playing Areola in Europe and the cups.

The second change will see Nikola Vlasic benched with Said Benrahma coming back in to the starting XI.

Benrahma has been dropped from the starting XI since his bust-up with Moyes on the touchline after being substituted in the 1-1 draw with Newcastle.

The Algerian has been talked up by Moyes ahead of the game. And that suggests he may come back in after Vlasic cost West Ham dear at both ends of the pitch against Sevilla and Liverpool.

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Vlasic missed an absolute sitter in Seville as he planted a header straight at the goalkeeper.

And he switched off at the back to allow Munir to score the winning goal.

Against Liverpool Vlasic’s lacklustre defending allowed Trent Alexander-Arnold to get his cross-cum-shot off which resulted in the only goal of the game and he spurned a glorious chance at the other end too.

Predicted West Ham starting XI to face Aston Villa

Fabianski, Johnson, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell, Rice, Soucek, Lanzini, Fornals, Benrahma, Antonio.

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