Unai Emery hopes Aston Villa take advantage of West Ham’s European exertions

Aston Villa boss Unai Emery hopes his side can take advantage of West Ham’s European exertions.

Villa head to the London Stadium on Sunday, having had a free week, while the Hammers travelled to Cyprus to take on AEK Larnaca in the Europa Conference League.

Emery, who won the Europa League with Villarreal in 2021, knows how tough competing in Europe and maintaining a strong league challenge can be.

“They are near the bottom of the league, but I know from my experiences that to try and get the same performances when you’re playing Premier League, playing cups and playing Europe with a lot of matches, it’s difficult,” Emery said on the club’s official website.

“We are going to play against teams like West Ham, like Bournemouth next week, and they are playing under the pressure of trying to escape the bottom of the table.

“That is not our focus – our focus is how we can play, how we can manage 90 minutes, trying to play with our idea.”

West Ham are in the thick of a relegation battle after a tough season, but finished seventh last season and also made the semi-finals of the Europa League.

Boss David Moyes has been under pressure, but Emery says he is “being successful” at the Hammers.

“His career is amazing. He has managed in Spain and his experience in England is part of a great career,” the Spaniard added.

“Now with West Ham, he is, overall, being successful. They are playing in Europe, and a lot of teams in the Premier League want to play in Europe and that’s not possible because it’s very difficult to get a [European] place.

“They did it under his management. I respect him a lot; he’s an intelligent coach and his tactical work with different teams has made them very competitive.

“I respect him and I know on Sunday it’s going to be a very tough match for us.”