The Premier League's MNF, or Monday late-afternoon football for those on the east coast, brings us the intriguing prospect of Aston Villa v West Ham – two sides I haven’t quite worked out yet (in West Ham’s case, I don’t think I’ll ever work them out).
Dean Smith’s men have endured a relatively rocky start to life back in the Premier League, losing against Spurs, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace – book-ending a good victory against Everton at Villa Park.
With so many new faces to bed into the side, it’s little surprise that Villa haven’t hit the ground running, but their victory over the Toffees was a clear indication that talent isn’t in short supply.
West Ham, unpredictable as always, come into this on the back of consecutive victories against Watford and Norwich—primarily due to the excellence of new striker Sébastien Haller—and I’m backing them to beat Villa on Monday, which is priced at +164.
The likes of Haller, Manuel Lanzini, Andriy Yarmolenko and Felipe Anderson will cause any team in the league problems, and they’ll need to be firing to make up for their less-than-stellar defensive record.
The Hammers have the momentum, and at this price, they’re worth backing against a Villa side still searching for their identity.
1u - West Ham to Win (3-way Moneyline) @ +164
As I mentioned, Sébastien Haller is on a different level.
Last season, despite a number of injuries, Haller scored 20 goals in 41 matches for Eintracht Frankfurt as part of an axis up-front with Ante Rebic and Luca Jovic, so it’s little surprise he’s taken to the Premier League like a duck to water.
The Frenchman has scored three goals in his last two league matches, and I like +145 for him to find the net at any time on Monday.
West Ham will be confident they can create chances; Villa’s only victory against Everton was in spite of the visitors’ xG being 1.56, far higher than Villa’s 0.81, don’t expect Haller to be starved of goalscoring opportunities.
1u - Sébastien Haller to Score Anytime @ +145
By Ryan Elliott