Brian Dear on the Hammers – West Ham must treat the game as any other

West Ham United v Aston Villa – London Stadium – Premier League – Sunday 4pm

West Ham United v Aston Villa – Preview;

After ensuring their Premier League future and hitting the kind of form expected from the supporter, West Ham United head into Sunday’s final league match of the campaign with the pressure very much off. However, with visitors, Aston Villa, embroiled in a relegation dogfight and others left reliant on the Hammers doing then a favour, Brian Dear has insisted the game should be treated as any other.

Speaking to Yellow Sport ahead of the London Stadium clash, Dear said: “Firstly, the integrity of the competition is important. We must go into the game strongly and think only of ourselves.

“West Ham have been impressive over the past few weeks. Defensively sound and potent in attack. The whole structure looks better and we don’t want to lose momentum.

“The new season isn’t too far over the horizon. Finishing this term well gives everyone a little more optimism for the future. Villa come here knowing what they’ve got to do, but it is not out concern – we must win the game for the fans – it’s the very least they deserve.”

Despite another frustrating season, Dear insisted there had been some positives: “I’ve been hugely impressed with Jarrod Bowen and Tomas Soucek. They have both been great auditions and have played a vital role in helping us away from the bottom three.

“Declan Rice has emerged as a leader. The lad is a great footballer and will undoubtedly go on to bigger and better things. Whether we’ll see him at West ham next season remains to be seen, but we should embrace the time we’ve had together. He will go on to be one of the best in the world.

“Michail Antonio has also displayed his importance to the team, particularly of late. Eight goals in six games and some powerful performances. We need him to be on the money consistently come the new season.”

West Ham United v Aston Villa – Head to head;

West Ham United won; 40
Drawn; 33
Aston Villa won; 38

West Ham United v Aston Villa – Last five meetings (all competitions);

November 8, 2014 – Premier League
West Ham United 0-0 Aston Villa

May 9, 2015 – Premier League
Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham United

December 26, 2015 – Premier League
Aston Villa 1-1 West Ham United

February 2, 2016 – Premier League
West Ham United 2-0 Aston Villa

September 16, 2019 – Premier League
Aston Villa 0-0 West Ham United

Brian Dear’s prediction: West Ham United 3-1 Aston Villa
Jeevesie’s prediction: West Ham United 1-1 Aston Villa

Brian Jeeves