Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

West Ham United-Aston Villa Preview

AP - Sports

West Ham United will be looking to move out of the relegation zone as they travel to Villa Park to play Aston Villa on Saturday.

Sam Allardyce's West Ham (5-7-12) have taken seven points from their last four games, yet still remain in the bottom three while enduring a disappointing campaign. Despite their perilous position, midfielder Mark Noble is eyeing mid-table rather than a relegation scrap.

"We're three points off eleventh, so getting ourselves back in that pack with the win against Swansea was important," said Noble. "It would be good to go to Aston Villa and get the three points before another winnable home game against Norwich. We're looking up rather than down at the moment, and even though we're in the bottom three, I'm sure we can claw our way back.

"We just need to work hard from now until the end of the season and dig in - all the way from the bottom to tenth nobody is safe and if we keep winning we'll drag more and more teams into it.

"Villa are a good team at home, they counter well and they've had good results lately. But we know we've got enough to go there and get a result."

Paul Lambert's Aston Villa (7-6-11) are 10th in the table but just five points clear of the drop zone themselves after winning only two of their last 10 league games. The January transfer window saw Lambert strengthen his squad's attacking options with the addition of veteran centre-forward Grant Holt, and the former Norwich man is targeting his first goal for the club in front of Villa Park's famous Holte End.

"Obviously with the nostalgia of that stand you want to score in front of it and you want to be involved with it," said Holt. "But it doesn't matter where it is or where it comes, it would be nice to get a goal. I'm hoping in the next couple of games and months I can do it.

"As a group we're confident and we're looking forward to the next two games. I know they're going to be different but it's good to be involved in it."

Villa have injury doubts over Ron Vlaar (hamstring), Gabriel Agbonlahor (ankle), Chris Herd (hamstring) and Charles N'Zogbia (calf), while Libor Kozak is out long-term with a broken leg. West Ham are without Joey O'Brien (shoulder), while Mohamed Diame (knee), Joe Cole (groin) and Ricardo Vaz Te (knee) are doubts.

These two clubs played out a goalless draw at Upton Park in November. The Hammers dominated possession and outshot their opponents 17-8, but have won just one of their last six Premier League meetings with Villa. West Ham have also managed to find the net in just two of their last six visits to Villa Park, failing to win on all six occasions (0-2-4).

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Soccer
View Comments (0)