For Aston Villa, things seemed to be looking up at Goodison Park last Saturday afternoon when they stormed into a 3-1lead over in-form Everton. The same old Villa defensive frailties eventually came to the fore though and another couple of points disappeared over the horizon as Everton came back to level it 2-2.
The match between these two sides at Villa Park on Saturday is a tough one to call. Aston Villa have not won at home in the Premier League since the end of November and they have actually only won two home games all season long. In fact, Villa have recorded double the amount of home draws and treble the amount of home defeats. As they currently sit in 19th place in the division and joint favourites with the bookies to be relegated. Things need to turn around very soon for this club if they are to stand any chance.West Ham would have been starting to look over their shoulders a little bit themselves ahead of their encounter with Swansea on Saturday. The return of big Andy Carroll to the forward line did give The Hammers the boost they needed and the on-loan Liverpool striker rose high to head the ball home and give West Ham a slender victory.
West Ham's victory last Saturday will have eased any worries of being dragged into the relegation battle and West Ham now look well on course to achieve their primary objective of surviving in the Premier League this season.
In some respects West Ham will go to Villa Park on Saturday afternoon with no real pressure on their shoulders, whilst the increasing pressure being heaped on Paul Lambert and his men could well become too much for a young Villa side.
For me, Villa absolutely have to win this match, but I can't see them doing it. The Villa defence has been all over the place against Bradford and Millwall in recent weeks, so the prospects of them keeping Andy Carroll at bay don't look good.
To win this match Villa are probably going to have to bag a few goals but the good news for them is that Christian Benteke is on form having taken another couple of goals on Merseyside last weekend.
The Premier League odds have Aston Villa as the slight favourites to win this one at 6/4 but that is largely down to West Ham's rather poor away form which has seen them win just two from 12 so far this season.
I think West Ham will try and make sure they make it as difficult as possible for Aston Villa to break them down on Saturday afternoon and then hope Andy Carroll can snatch them the 3 points from a set piece.
If I had to pick a winner, I would be adding West Ham to my Premier League picks. However, I also think we could be looking at a score-draw in this one.
In terms of which marksmen are mostly likely to grab the first goal, I definitely see Andy Carroll as the favourite and I expect to see the big Geordie wreaking havoc from corners and set pieces throughout the match.
For Villa, again it's difficult to see past Benteke, but maybe the 7/1 on offer for Agbonlahor could be some good value for your sports picks as well.
West Ham to win the match - 15/8 - SportingBet
West Ham to win 2-1 - 11/1 - BetVictor
The match to finish 2-2 - 17/1 - BetVictor
First Goal - Andy Carroll - 11/2 - William Hill