Mark Lawrenson has predicted that West Ham United will slip to defeat when they travel to face Aston Villa on Monday evening.
The Hammers go into the game against the promoted side on the back of three straight victories in all competitions against Watford, Newport County, and Norwich City.
Dean Smith’s side have only picked up all three points on one occasion this season, beating Everton and welcome West Ham to the midlands on the back of a controversial defeat to Crystal Palace.
“This one will be close,” he wrote on the BBC Sport website.
“But I am going to go with Villa to make their home advantage count.”
Lawrenson’s only reasoning behind his prediction is that Aston Villa are at home for the clash on Monday. West Ham will be confident of securing the three points having been unbeaten in their three away fixtures in all competitions so far this season.
If there is one thing that Smith’s side have struggled with, it is their defence. Jack Grealish has taken many plaudits for his ability on the ball, but when under pressure he can make mistakes, and his defensive attributes are seriously lacking for a midfielder, as highlighted in their defeat against Tottenham.
Aston Villa have conceded 19.3 shots on goal so far this season per game according to WhoScored, and with Haller and company in great touch in front of goal, if the Hammers have a similar amount of shots, they will definitely score more than the one predicted by Lawrenson.
Pellegrini’s men have only averaged 11.8 shots on goal per game this season [WhoScored] and must take advantage of any potential defensive fragilities at Villa Park when they meet.
To predict that the Hammers will only score a single goal in the clash when looking into the stats, it appears that West Ham will be given many opportunities to score many more on the night.