Tag Archives: villa

Paul Lambert has challenged Christian Benteke to stay at Aston Villa

Lambert challenges Benteke to stay at Villa and prove he's not a one-season wonder

By
Neil Moxley

PUBLISHED:

17:15 GMT, 19 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:44 GMT, 19 April 2013

Paul Lambert registered little surprise at Christian Benteke’s nomination for the PFA young player of the year yesterday but asked Aston Villa’s top scorer to guard against becoming a one-season wonder.

Benteke, 22, has scored 19 goals so far, including 15 in the Premier League, and been the major reason why Lambert’s side has managed to claw themselves clear of trouble in the Premier League.

His physical presence has also allowed others to flourish. But Villa’s boss remained phlegmatic at the announcement, instead urging Benteke to carry on his good work.

Plea: Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has challenged Belgian striker Christian Benteke to stay at Villa Park and prove he is no one-season wonder.

Plea: Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has challenged Belgian striker Christian Benteke to stay at Villa Park and prove he is no one-season wonder.

'I’m not bothered if he’s nominated or not, as long as he’s performing for this club,' said Lambert, 'we’ll have to wait and see whether he wins it.

'However, I don’t think it’ll affect him one bit. If he remains the way he is at this minute, he’ll do very well for himself.

Preparation: Benteke and Villa travel to Manchester United this weekend

Preparation: Benteke and Villa travel to Manchester United this weekend

'And I don’t want to pile too much pressure upon him. He’s only a young guy learning his trade. He’s made mistakes like everyone else but his performances have been very good.

'He’s got to sustain a level where he is doing it, week in, week out.

'No doubt we’ll look at his contract at the end of the season. I just don’t want him to be one-season wonder.'

Little interest: Lambert is not bothered whether Benteke wins the PFA Young Player of the Year or not - knowing how valuable he has been for his side this season

Little interest: Lambert is not bothered whether Benteke wins the PFA Young Player of the Year or not – knowing how valuable he has been for his side this season

The spotlight will be on Manchester United’s David De Gea after Andy Carroll’s challenge on the keeper at Upton Park last week.

Lambert said that while Benteke was aggressive, there is no malicious intent.

Michael Carrick

Robin van Persie

Tough test: Villa travel to Old Trafford to face Player of the Year nominees Michael Carrick and Robin Van Persie

'I think a lot has been made of that situation,' added the Scot, 'we don’t really have a physical side, it has only been Christian, he’s a big lad but not an aggressive guy who does not want to hurt anyone.

'I don’t think anyone goes out to hurt anyone. The British game is an up and out them type of football. But Christian is not that way inclined.'

Wrong end: Fabian Delph's (right) own goal gave Aston Villa a point against an 'underrated' Fulham side

Wrong end: Fabian Delph's (right) own goal gave Aston Villa a point against an 'underrated' Fulham side

Threatened: Villa now sit just three points above the relegation zone and Wigan have a game in hand

Threatened: Villa now sit just three points above the relegation zone and Wigan have a game in hand

Stiliyan Petrov says he is lucky to be alive following leukaemia battle

I’m lucky to be alive! Villa captain Petrov reveals he is on the road to recovery in leukaemia battle

By
Charlie Skillen

PUBLISHED:

12:47 GMT, 17 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:09 GMT, 17 April 2013

Stiliyan Petrov has revealed he is on the road to recovery following a battle with leukaemia after being diagnosed with the disease in March last year, saying he is lucky to be alive.

The Aston Villa club captain spoke about his experience with treatment for the disease and his appreciation of the fans who supported him at matches.

Defender Petrov, who has won 106 caps for his native Bulgaria, has not retired from the professional game and said he is lucky, due to the amount of people who die from the leukaemia.

Happy Birthday: Stiliyan Petrov has revealed he is on the road to recovery following his battle with leukaemia

Happy Birthday: Stiliyan Petrov has revealed he is on the road to recovery following his battle with leukaemia

'When it happened I knew what kind of
disease it was but I didn’t know anything about what kind of treatment
it was,' he told AVFC.co.uk

'While the treatment was going on I
was surprised how long things were dragging on, it kept dragging and I
kept thinking “when is this going to finish” but with a lot of patience
and a lot of support from family and friends and everybody I managed to
pull through. I had my hard moments but I had good moments as well.

'I can say I’m lucky because some
people with this disease will die very quickly and I managed to keep
battling and still be here, still standing. It’s really good, that’s a
great thing.'

Salute: Petrov acknowledges the Villa Park crowd, showing their support by applauding in the 19th minute

Salute: Petrov acknowledges the Villa Park crowd, showing their support by applauding in the 19th minute

Villa

Villa fans hold an applause in the 19th
minute of every game – marking Petrov's squad number – and the
midfielder paid tribute to the supporters who have stood by their
skipper.

'Yeah, the 19th minute has been just
incredible. It’s just showing their appreciation and their support. I
don’t know how I can thank the fans because it’s been incredible.

'Sometimes I have a joke with some
friends when they text me saying, ‘You’ve still got that applause in the
19th minute, when are they going to stop!’ But it’s been incredible.

Touching: Young Villa fans hold up a message in support of their captain

Touching: Young Villa fans hold up a message in support of their captain

In action: Villa skipper Petrov playing last season before the diagnosis ruled him out of contention

In action: Villa skipper Petrov playing last season before the diagnosis ruled him out of contention

'I’ve got a great wife, a strong,
great wife and she’s been unbelievable, incredible in this journey. The
kids as well, my mom and dad, my brother, my wife’s mum, they’ve all
been so strong and close beside me. Other friends as well, I can’t start
naming names because there are so many, they’ve been so supportive
every single day.

'To have support every single day from
people who have their own problems and their own life but they keep
finding the time to send you a message or call you, it’s just
unbelievable.'

Thoughts: Tributes to Petrov were displayed by teams around the Premier League

Thoughts: Tributes to Petrov were displayed by teams around the Premier League

Petrov also spoke about the club's current form, and has backed his team-mates to stave off any relegation fears after seeing Saturday's 1-1 draw against Fulham.

'I was there at the game against Fulham and I’ve come to a lot of games this season when I’ve had the chance,' Petrov said.

Back on track: Petrov was watching Villa's 1-1 draw against Fulham, with Charles N'Zogbia's opener (above)

Back on track: Petrov was watching Villa's 1-1 draw against Fulham, with Charles N'Zogbia's opener (above)

'I needed to have clearance from the doctors to go around crowded areas, so I constantly needed to be feeling well in order for me to be around people.

'I was really impressed by the performance against Fulham because the boys kept going right until the last minute. There are still a lot of games to come, a lot of points to be picked up, so there’s nothing to worry about.'

Goal of the season – Premier League contenders so far

After wonder goals from Lowton and Remy, Sportsmail picks the contenders (so far…) for the Premier League's goal of the season

PUBLISHED:

10:49 GMT, 8 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

10:59 GMT, 8 April 2013

Forget the title race or the fight to avoid relegation, here's one competition that pretty much all football fans can enjoy – goal of the season.

It may only be the first week of April, but screamers from Matthew Lowton and Loic Remy at the weekend will definitely be contenders.

Super strike I: Matthew Lowton fires home his volley for Villa at Stoke

Super strike I: Matthew Lowton fires home his volley for Villa at Stoke

Super strike II: Loic Remy crashes home the ball in QPR's draw with Wigan

Super strike II: Loic Remy crashes home the ball in QPR's draw with Wigan

Lowton's sumptuous late volley at Stoke breathed life into Aston Villa's battle to stay up on Saturday.

And Remy fired home a rocket from the edge of the box to give fellow strugglers QPR hope before Shaun Maloney's equaliser at the death.

Let's hope there are further contenders in the climax to the season – but, for now, Sportsmail's team of experts nominate their favourite of the campaign so far.

*Who would you vote for Explain your choice at the bottom of the article…

NEIL ASHTON

Gareth Bale – West Ham 2 TOTTENHAM 3 (February 24, 2013)

Special players score goals at important moment, living with the pressure and winning games for their team with top class finishes when others are fading. Bale did just that when he won this fixture for Spurs at West Ham with a top quality strike from outside the area. His celebrations with Andre Villas-Boas on the touchline were even better.

SAMI MOKBEL

Gareth Bale has got quite a collection to choose from this season – but this is right up there. Final minute. 30 yards. Left foot. Bang. Three points.

Rocket: Gareth Bale scores at West Ham before celebrating with Andre Villas-Boas

Rocket: Gareth Bale scores at West Ham before celebrating with Andre Villas-Boas

Rocket: Gareth Bale scores at West Ham before celebrating with Andre Villas-Boas
DOMINIC KING

Leighton Baines – Newcastle 1 EVERTON 2 (January 3, 2013)

An absolute humdinger from the best left-back in the country, his effort from 30 yards dipped, swerved and sped past Tim Krul before he realised what had happened. Great technique and phenomenal power. Eclipses Luis Suarez's stunning control and deft finish against the same opponents at Anfield in November.

Rocket: Leighton Baines crashes the ball home from 30 yards at Newcastle

Rocket: Leighton Baines crashes the ball home from 30 yards at Newcastle

SIMON CASS

Luis Suarez – LIVERPOOL 1 Newcastle 1 (November 4, 2013)

Luis Suarez’s equaliser against Newcastle back in November will take some beating. The Uruguayan plucks Luis Enrique’s long ball out of the air, holds of Fabricio Coloccini before taking a touch to go past Tim Krul to roll it into the net. Genius.

Control: Luis Suarez bamboozles the Newcastle defence to score this wonder goal

Control: Luis Suarez bamboozles the Newcastle defence to score this wonder goal

SAM CUNNINGHAM

Dimitar Berbatov – FULHAM 1 Stoke 0 (February 23, 2013)

This goal was everything that sums up the nonchalant Bulgarian – class, quality, precision, technique, grace. He was standing just inside the box on the right when a defensive header dropped from the sky. The ball plummeted 20-30 metres, a distance your average armchair fan would struggle to even control the ball from, and Berbatov stroked it into the top corner from just inside the box on the right.

Eyes on the ball: Dimitar Berbatov volleys home against Stoke at Craven Cottage

Eyes on the ball: Dimitar Berbatov volleys home against Stoke at Craven Cottage

Eyes on the ball: Dimitar Berbatov volleys home against Stoke at Craven Cottage

Eyes on the ball: Dimitar Berbatov volleys home against Stoke at Craven Cottage

CHRIS WHEELER

Cameron Jerome – STOKE 3 Southampton 3 (December 29, 2012)

Jerome's blockbusting 90th-minute equaliser was stunning – if it wasn’t for the net, this one would still be travelling now.

Salute: Cameron Jerome celebrates his stunning last-minute goal for Stoke

Salute: Cameron Jerome celebrates his stunning last-minute goal for Stoke

JOHN EDWARDS

Loic Remy – QPR 1 Wigan 1 (April 7, 2013)

It has to be Remy, for one simple reason. While Lowton’s goal was spectacular, Remy’s had an air of wonder, bordering on mystique, about it. We’ve had any number of brilliantly-executed volleys down the years, but never, as far as I can recall, a first-time side-foot shot on the run from 20 yards hit with such power, it was past the keeper before he could move. Like Paolo Di Canio’s airborne effort against Wimbledon, it left you shaking your head and wondering exactly how he did it.

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ADAM SHERGOLD

Robin van Persie – MANCHESTER UNITED 3 Fulham 2 (August 25, 2012)

What a way to introduce yourself. A cross in from the left, a step in front of the defender and, in one fluid movement and without even looking at the goal, the ball is swept home. It was a goal that said: ‘I’m worth every penny and I’m here to get your title back.’ And how he has.

Touch: Robin van Persie directs the ball home in United's win over Fulham

Touch: Robin van Persie directs the ball home in United's win over Fulham

MIKE ANSTEAD

Papiss Cisse – NEWCASTLE 4 Southampton 2 (February 24, 2013)

Cisse has now scored a few belters for Newcastle. He likes to drop the odd cracker in among his finishes inside the six-yard box. This goal reminded me of Alan Shearer in his Newcastle pomp, lashing it home from 25 yards.

Sealed with a kiss: Cisse celebrates his stunner against Southampton

Sealed with a kiss: Cisse celebrates his stunner against Southampton

MATT FORTUNE

Theo Walcott – ARSENAL 7 Newcastle 3 (December 29, 2012)

It's not the tidiest, the most sweetly struck, or skilful, but for the befuddlement I still feel when watching it back, Walcott's hat-trick goal saw him tie two players in knots by the touchline, trip over his own feet on entry to the box, somehow slide on his knees practically through the legs of another, take out a fourth, jump to his feet and scoop the ball from a narrowing angle into the top corner.

Joyous: Theo Walcott wheels away after completing his hat-trick against Newcastle

Joyous: Theo Walcott wheels away after completing his hat-trick against Newcastle

ALEX KAY

Michael Kightly – Manchester United 4 STOKE 2 (October 20, 2012)

The former Wolves man doesn’t always get a game for Stoke but his run from the halfway line at Old Trafford was phenomenal and one he will remember for the rest of his career. There was a slightly lucky bobble along the way but the finish was excellent.

LUKE BENEDICT

Matthew Lowton – Stoke 1 ASTON VILLA 3 (April 6, 2013)

For the patience to wait for the ball to drop on to his foot despite two Stoke players closing down fast, for the vision to shoot on goal given the magnitude of the match and just how far out he was, then finally for the technical ability to actually pull it off. Can you imagine the fuss if Messi had scored it

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Arsenal suffer a blow as their target David Villa is offered a new Barcelona contract

Arsenal blow as target Villa will be offered new Barcelona deal

By
Thom Drake

PUBLISHED:

13:42 GMT, 17 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:06 GMT, 18 March 2013

Arsenal could miss out on signing David Villa after Barcelona have offered him a new contract.

The striker is due to be a free agent in 14 months time, with several English clubs sniffing around to see if they can get him for a reduced price.

However, Barcelona feel he still has a very important role at the club and staying in Spain may be his best chance of competing for a place in the national side.

Natural: David Villa scored in Barcelona's 4-0 win against AC Milan

Natural: David Villa scored in Barcelona's 4-0 win against AC Milan

Arsenal's striking problems have been well documented of late, with Arsene Wenger allowing Theo Walcott some time up front before switching back to Olivier Giroud for the most recent games.

Forward Marouane Chamakh is currently on-loan at West Ham after failing to convince his manager that he has much of a future at the club.

As for Villa, Spain's record goalscorer has been out of favour at the Nou Campafter returning at the start of the season from eight months out with a broken leg.

Rival: Alexis Sanchez is Villa's biggest competition in the team

Rival: Alexis Sanchez is Villa's biggest competition in the team

The 31-year-old joined Barcelona from Valencia in 2010 for a fee of 35million, and is reportedly on a deal worth 7m a year.

If first-team football is what Villa wants, then he may wait until the summer and consider his future before signing any new contract.

Record: Villa is Spain's top goalscorer with 53 goals in 86 games

Record: Villa is Spain's top goalscorer with 53 goals in 86 games

Jack Rodwell suffers injury in Manchester City game at Aston Villa

Rodwell injury curse strikes again after Man City midfielder limps off at Villa Park

By
Alex Horlock

PUBLISHED:

20:37 GMT, 4 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

20:58 GMT, 4 March 2013

Jack Rodwell suffered yet another setback in his injury-plagued Manchester City career after hobbling off the pitch at Villa Park this evening.

Little over 20 minutes into City's match against Paul Lambert's Aston Villa, Rodwell pulled up after letting fly with a powerful shot on Brad Guzan's goal.

The midfielder, who made his first start for City since September during their 2-0 win
over Chelsea last weekend, was tonight making his 11th appearance for the champions
this season, but was replaced by the club's top scorer Edin Dzeko
having limped off clutching his hamstring and holding his head in his hands.

Injury curse: Jack Rodwell was marking his 11th appearance for Manchester City since his summer arrival from Everton

Injury curse: Jack Rodwell was marking his 11th appearance for Manchester City since his summer arrival from Everton

The 21-year-old, who joined City in a
12million move from Everton last summer, spoke just last week about his
belief that he had put his injuries behind him.

The England international added that
he had harboured doubts about his ability to withstand the rigours of a
career in football having seen his short spell in the professional game marred
repeatedly by injury during his time on Merseyside and in Manchester.

Rodwell said ahead of City's clash against Chelsea: 'At Everton
last season I doubted whether I was built for it.

'To be honest, I did
think the worst but I had to take the positives and think I'm still
young and in a great position at one of the best teams in the world.

Blow: Rodwell was replaced by Edin Dzeko after suffering an apparent hamstring injury

Blow: Rodwell was replaced by Edin Dzeko after suffering an apparent hamstring injury

'I had between five and 10 setbacks,
and that's not just from the original injury. It's mentally hard. There
are times when you're set back again and you don't know what to do.

'Before the last five or six weeks I
used to go into training and was never confident. I was just praying I
got through it and that's just not the way to be at all.'

Aston Villa 0 Manchester City 1: Carlos Tevez scores winner

Aston Villa 0 Manchester City 1: Mancini's men made to toil for victory over strugglers

PUBLISHED:

21:53 GMT, 4 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 4 March 2013

Carlos Tevez scored the decisive goal as Manchester City kept their title hopes hanging by a thread with a win at Aston Villa.

After a solid start from Villa, the visitors took control of the game. Edin Dzeko pounced on a Ciaran Clark error to slide the ball into Tevez, who rounded the goalkeeper and slotted home on the stroke of half-time.

City struck the upright twice after through Yaya Toure and Pablo Zabaleta, but couldn't increase their lead to kill the game off.

One up: Carlos Tevez (right) put Manchester City 1-0 up against Aston Villa

One up: Carlos Tevez (right) put Manchester City 1-0 up against Aston Villa

One up: Carlos Tevez (right) put Manchester City 1-0 up against Aston Villa
MATCH FACTS

Aston Villa: Guzan, Clark, Bennett, Baker, Lowton, N'Zogbia (Holman 65), Westwood (El Ahmadi 86), Delph, Agbonlahor, Benteke, Weimann (Dawkins 84)

Subs not used: Given, Lichaj, Sylla, Bowery

Booked: Benteke, Delph

Manchester City: Hart, Zabaleta, Clichy, K Toure, Nastasic, Milner, Garcia, Rodwell (Dzeko 25), Silva (Barry 90), Y Toure, Tevez (Nasri 75)

Subs not used: Pantilimon, Lescott, Kolarov, Sinclair

Goal: Tevez 45

Referee: Mike Dean

More to follow…

Relief: City celebrate their goal on the stroke of half-time from the Argentina international

Relief: City celebrate their goal on the stroke of half-time from the Argentina international

Aerial battle: Edin Dzeko gets above Ciaran Clark (right) to win a header

Aerial battle: Edin Dzeko gets above Ciaran Clark (right) to win a header

.

Up for it: Christian Benteke (left) made a nuisance of himself for City's back four

Up for it: Christian Benteke (left) made a nuisance of himself for City's back four

.

Tussle: Fabian Delph (right) pursues City playmaker David Silva

Tussle: Fabian Delph (right) pursues City playmaker David Silva

Running the show: Yaya Toure (left) struck the post midway through the second half

Running the show: Yaya Toure (left) struck the post midway through the second half

.

Out of this world: Two Aston Villa fans dress up to show their support for Christian Benteke

Out of this world: Two Aston Villa fans dress up to show their support for Christian Benteke

Out of this world: Two Aston Villa fans dress up to show their support for Christian Benteke

.

Injury curse: Jack Rodwell was marking his 11th appearance for Manchester City since his summer arrival from Everton

Injury curse: Jack Rodwell was marking his 11th appearance for Manchester City since his summer arrival from Everton

Blow: Rodwell was replaced by Edin Dzeko after suffering an apparent hamstring injury

Blow: Rodwell was replaced by Edin Dzeko after suffering an apparent hamstring injury

.

Expressive: Frustrations boil over for Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini

Expressive: Frustrations boil over for Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini

Aston Villa v West Ham live

PREMIER LEAGUE LIVE: Aston Villa v West Ham – as it happens from Villa Park

for their last triumph on the road.

Villa will be desperate for three points in their bid to escape the clutches of the bottom three but they will also be keen to avoid a repeat of their clash with the east London side from earlier in the season when Sam Allardyce's side recorded a 1-0 win at Upton Park to start the 2012/13 campaign.

Send me your thoughts on the action at [email protected] or contact me on Twitter @Ripinho.

Half-time: Aston Villa 0-0 West Ham

45+2min: Carroll has lacked service so far, despite West Ham winning a number of free-kicks, and his frustration in the first 45 minutes is summed up by one wild left foot swing from 25 yards that flies well off target.

45+1min: There will be four minutes added on.

44min: The first booking of the afternoon goes to West Ham's Emmanuel Pogatetz after the defender chops down Charles N'Zogbia to bring an immediate half to an Aston Villa counter attack.

42min: After a spell of West Ham pressure, Villa are once more looking the more likely to score. But as we approach half-time, all the goalmouth action has taken place inside the first 120 seconds.

39min: I thought it would be West Ham who would be closer to scoring from set-pieces but Villa nearly score from one of their own. A corner to the near post finds Ron Vlaar, whose half-volley on to the greasy surface bounces a yard over the bar.

37min: Terrific defending from Clark. West Ham do well to find Demel in space on the right, and his low cross is destined for an unmarked Joe Cole in the centre before the Villa defender gets a vital touch on the slide to intercept and allow Guzan to gather.

35min: The last five minutes have seen West Ham come back into this game, but despite winning a couple of free-kicks, the Villa defence has coped comfortably with Guzan keen to come off his line to punch clear any aerial bombardment.

32min: Another sign of the threat Carroll possesses as the striker wins a header inside the Villa box from a cross. The striker is off balance though and his effort loops comfortably into Guzan's arms.

30min: A rare charge forward from West Ham, and it comes form a neat passing exchange on the ground too as Matty Taylor releases Mohamed Diame down the left wing into the penalty box.

From there though it very quickly falls apart as the midfielder blasts a low cross into the near post side netting. Huge waste.

27min: Villa are starting to gain more control in this game but every time they get near the West Ham box there are a wall of bodies denying them a shot on goal. The Hammers are struggling to get out of their own half.

24min: With O'Brien's day done, Guy Demel has come on for the Hammers.

23min: This is turning into a war of attrition. Joey O'Brien has limped off the pitch for West Ham while Tomkins takes an accidental boot to the face from Delph after making a superb sliding tackle on the touchline. The West Ham medical team are making sure he still has all of his teeth after that one.

20min: The game has stopped momentarily as Baker receives more attention as blood starts to seep out of his Vaseline covered head following that earlier clash with Carroll.

Meanwhile the home fans as usual applaud in unison in the 19th minute to observe club captain, Stiliyan Petrov's battle against illness.

18min: Good footwork from Fabian Delph sees him dodge a couple of challenges in the West Ham half before he wins a free-kick 35 yards out. The ball is swung towards the back post but Benteke heads the difficult chance wide.

16min: It's been a nervous affair so far. West Ham remain content with a more direct playing style while Villa for all their effort just lack quality trying to pierce the West Ham backline.

13min: From InfostradaLive:

West Ham United have scored three opening goals in their away PL matches this season, together with Wigan, Norwich and Fulham least of all clubs. Villa have scored the opener in four of their home matches this PL season, only QPR (2) have less.

Miss of the season Andreas Weimann reacts after missing a golden opportunity to open the scoring for Villa

Miss of the season Andreas Weimann reacts after missing a golden opportunity to open the scoring for Villa

10min: James Tomkins produces a neat sliding tackle to deny Weimann a chance to cross from inside the box and Villa win their first corner.

It's cleared but shortly after winning a second corner, Nathan Baker and Carroll clash heads trying to head the ball and play has stopped for a minute or two while they receive treatment. Both look like they will be okay to continue once they stop seeing stars.

8min: Villa are showing the more attacking purpose so far but apart from that horror miss from Weimann ( I wonder what Darren Bent made of that on the sub's bench) we haven't seen any more chances.

5min: Otherwise it's a bright start from Villa who have controlled possession, but they do concede a free-kick in the centre-circle and you know what comes next.

West Ham pump a long high ball into the box for Andy Carroll, who wins a flick on and pounces on a loose ball to loop a shot just over Brad Guzan's crossbar.

2min: Miss of the season, there I said it! It's a horrible moment all round as Christian Benteke's low shot towards the near post from 20 yards is ludicrously fumbled by West Ham keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, only for Andreas Weimann to somehow place the rebound wide of the post with an open goal staring him in the face.

1min: From OptaJoe:

1 – West Ham have taken one point from the last 21 available on the road, scoring just five in their last nine PL away games. Travels.

Kick-off: Villa get us going.

Greetings: West Ham manager Sam Allardyce (left) and his opposite Aston Villa number, Paul Lambert shake hands before kick-off

Greetings: West Ham manager Sam Allardyce (left) and his opposite Aston Villa number, Paul Lambert shake hands before kick-off

13.27: Out come the players and speaking of claret and blue there are many empty seats inside Villa Park.

13.24: The players are in the tunnel with Aston Villa standing in claret and blue opposite West Ham…who are also in claret and blue.

The Hammers are in their more blue based away kit but this could hurt my eyes.

13.19: From InfostradaLive:

West Ham have failed to win in their last five PL visits to Villa Park, failing to score on four occasions. Their only victory in the last 14 visits was in January 2006 (2-1) when Bobby Zamora and Marlon Harewood (penalty) scored. Lee Hendrie netted for Villa.

13.14: We know about Villa's troubles this term but what happened the last time they went down Sadly the team of 1987 share many similarities with Paul Lambert's strugglers from this season as I found out here.

13.09: Gabriel Agbonlahor is ruled out through illness by the way. Still though it says much about Paul Lambert's faith in Darren Bent that he picks a forward who cost 23.4m less in his starting XI over him. At least Villa have some sort of firepower on the bench though.

Team news

Team news

13.06: Full line-ups from Villa Park:

Aston Villa v West Ham
Aston Villa: Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Baker, Weimann, Westwood, Delph, Bowery, N'Zogbia, Benteke. Subs: Given, Bent, Holman, Sylla, Dawkins, Bannan, Bennett.

West Ham: Jaaskelainen, O'Brien, Reid, Tomkins, Pogatetz, Noble, Diame, Nolan, Taylor, Joe Cole, Carroll. Subs: Spiegel, Jarvis, Carlton Cole, Vaz Te, Demel, Chamakh, O'Neil.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)

13.03: Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert hands a first Barclays Premier League start to striker Jordan Bowery, a 600,000 summer signing from Chesterfield, against West Ham at Villa Park.

Midfielder Fabian Delph, who has recovered from an ankle injury, and left-back Nathan Baker are recalled as Villa looked to end a run of eight league games without a win.

On-loan Wolfsburg defender Emanuel Pogatetz is given a first start by Hammers boss Sam Allardyce, with Joe Cole also brought back into the starting line-up.

Main threat: West Ham will rely on their on-loan striker Andy Carroll in attack

Main threat: West Ham will rely on their on-loan striker Andy Carroll in attack

13.00: From OptaJoe:

2 – Aston Villa have scored just two goals in their last seven Premier League matches at Villa Park. Shy.

12.57: If there is one avenue we can see West Ham scoring from today, it is through set-pieces. Judging by Aston Villa's poor record at defending them it seems a West Ham corner + Andy Carroll's headers = goals.

Villa captain Ron Vlaar claims though that he and his teammates are aware of their set-piece struggles and targeting to put things right.

12.54: Sadly of course the big talking point this morning is not about the football but about Paul Gascoigne who has been rushed into intensive care in the USA.

The former England international is said to be out of immediate danger but let's continue to hope Gazza can make a full recovery.

12.51: The Villa Park pitch looks very tidy this afternoon but the less said about the weather, the better. It's wet, cold and overcast in the West Midlands but I guess we shouldn't be too surprised – it is February folks.

12.48: Speaking of Manchester United they will attempt to go a dozen points clear at the top of the table when they take on Everton at 4pm. You can follow live coverage of that match from around 3.30pm with myself straight after the action here at Villa Park.

12.45: Yesterday's results have given Villa a big incentive to take three points today as it would see them climb out of the bottom three into 17th.

West Ham may reside in mid-table but on 30 points they are not quite out of the relegation fight. A win today though and they would be 12 points clear of the bottom three. If a gap like that would be good enough for Manchester United, then I think Sam Allardyce's team would be content too.

Jaaskelainen, O'Brien, Tomkins, Reid, Pogatetz, Noble, Diame, Nolan, J.Cole, Taylor, Carroll.

12.35: Aston Villa starting XI:

Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Baker, Westwood, Delph, N’Zogbia, Bowery, Weimann, Benteke.

12.30: Apart from Manchester United (and we will get to them in a minute) one of the big winners from yesterday were Aston Villa, who saw the majority of their rivals battling relegation fail to pick up any points.

That's not quite job done for Paul Lambert's side this weekend though. Sitting one place off the bottom of the table they need to start winning points of their own. Today they host West Ham – a side suspect on their travels this term. Team news coming up.

Sunday's opener: Aston Villa will hope to ease relegation fears when they host West Ham at Villa Park

Sunday's opener: Aston Villa will hope to ease relegation fears when they host West Ham at Villa Park

LIVE: Newcastle v Chelsea, Arsenal v Stoke, Everton v Aston Villa, West Ham v Swansea, Reading v Sunderland, Wigan v Southampton

PREMIER LEAGUE LIVE: Follow the action from around the grounds as it happens

By
Dan Ripley

PUBLISHED:

04:00 GMT, 2 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:18 GMT, 2 February 2013

Live scores (3pm)

Click here for the live goals as they go in

Arsenal v Stoke

Everton v Aston Villa

Newcastle v Chelsea

Reading v Sunderland

West Ham v Swansea

Wigan v Southampton

Click here for the live Premier League table

All the latest from the Championship

All the latest from League One

All the latest from League Two

All the latest from the SPL

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Barclays Premier League as Newcastle host Chelsea in one of six games kicking off at 3pm.

Arsenal will hope to put pressure on those above them in the table for a Champions League spot when they host Stoke, including Everton who welcome struggling Aston Villa.

Reading will hope their late heroics against Chelsea midweek can spur them on to three points against Sunderland at the Madejski Stadium.

West Ham bid to end a run of six games without a win when they take on Swansea, while Wigan and Southampton hope to boost their respective top flight survival hopes when they clash at the DW Stadium.

Send me your thoughts on the action at [email protected] or contact me on Twitter @Ripinho.

14.10: Also worth a few minutes of your time before kick-off at 3pm is the latest column from Sportsmail's Martin Samuel, who answered back to YOUR responses surrounding Chelsea's Eden Hazard and the ball boy/teenager.

14.05: QPR were the first team to field their deadline day signings. And you can see how Chris Samba and Andros Townsend are fairing on their debuts for the Hoops by clicking here to follow our live coverage of QPR v Norwich with Alex Horlock. We are into the second half at Loftus Road.

14.00: Afternoon folks. You may have noticed that all of the matches over the next two days are the reverse fixtures from the second weekend of the season.

Since then we've seen the closure of two transfer windows so if your team has not signed that holding midfielder or star striker that you badly needed even back in the summer then that's too bad.

If your side was busy up until the 11pm deadline on Thursday then this is the first chance to see the potential deadline day stars that could just save your season. Either way today's team news is coming up.

Gunning for three points: Arsenal, Everton, West Ham and Chelsea are in action from 3pm

Gunning for three points: Arsenal, Everton, West Ham and Chelsea are in action from 3pm

Premier League team news for February 1-2

All the Barclays Premier League team news ahead of the weekend

PUBLISHED:

09:00 GMT, 1 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:08 GMT, 1 February 2013

Sportsmail brings you the latest squad news on every Barclays Premier League team as it breaks ahead of another action-packed weekend.

Simply click on your team (when it appears in blue) in the fixture list below to find out who is injured and who is back in action…

Resistance: Heavy rain this winter will be no problem for the Maxim

SATURDAY

QPR v Norwich (12.45pm)

Arsenal v Stoke (3pm)

Everton v Aston Villa (3pm)

Newcastle v Chelsea (3pm)

Reading v Sunderland (3pm)

West Ham v Swansea (3pm)

Wigan v Southampton (3pm)

Fulham v Manchester United (5.30pm)

SUNDAY

West Bromwich v Tottenham (1.30pm)

Manchester City v Liverpool (4pm)

Everton sign John Stones from Barnsley on transfer deadline day

Everton beat host of Premier League rivals to signature of Barnsley defender Stones

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

22:35 GMT, 31 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

00:03 GMT, 1 February 2013

Everton have signed defender John Stones from Barnsley on a five-and-a-half-year contract for an undisclosed fee.

Sportsmail revealed last month that relegation-threatened Wigan had joined Chelsea, Aston Villa Sunderland, Manchester City and Everton in the race for the 3million-rated prospect.

Stones is one of the most coveted young defenders in the country and is a real coup for manager David Moyes.

On the move: John Stones (left) has left Barnsley for Goodison Park

On the move: John Stones (left) has left Barnsley for Goodison Park

He told Everton's official website: 'I am very excited to be joining Everton. I've been very impressed with everything I have seen at Finch Farm already. Now the hard work begins.'

The 6ft 2in England Under 19 international made his Tykes debut last March after progressing through the youth ranks at Oakwell.

He featured 28 times for the npower Championship club, netting his first goal in the 4-3 Capital One Cup triumph over Rochdale in August.

In demand: Stones had attracted the attention of several big clubs

In demand: Stones had attracted the attention of several big clubs

Stones added: 'I would like to take this opportunity of thanking everybody at Barnsley for helping me in my development.

'They include Ronnie Branson and all the academy staff; Keith Hill and David Flitcroft for giving me the chance to play first-team football. Also all the backroom staff such as Guy Proctor, John Lucas and Craig Sedgwick.

'They are just some of the people who I owe a debt of gratitude to and I wish Barnsley every success for the future.'