Noel Whelan insists that Aston Villa have “a great chance of staying up” ahead of their season-deciding clash with West Ham United on Sunday.

The former Leeds and Coventry striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, claimed the club “wasted a lot of money” in the transfer market but praised Dean Smith’s side for staying in the survival mix.

Villa’s 1-0 victory over Arsenal on Monday lifted them out of the relegation zone on goal difference ahead of the final round of fixtures.

The Villains have collected seven points from their last three outings and Whelan believes they’ve hit form at the right time.

“As I’ve said all along if they get it right they’ve got a great chance of staying up,” he told Football Insider.

“They’ve wasted a lot of money on a lot of players I don’t think are the right characters for the club however they’re coming good at the right time.

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“They will be the first team to say it is not easy in the Premier League. You’ve seen two clubs go two different ways. Sheffield United have not spent that much money to bring in a few to the core they already had and have had an absolutely amazing season.

“On the other hand you’ve got Aston Villa who’ve spent £130 million and they are the ones who’ve found it difficult.

“I think when you sign 16 players, you’re going to find it difficult to blend everyone in and I think they’ve signed too many.

“Having said that, it’s down to them now, they’ve got themselves in the driving seat and it’s up to them to keep it but it’s going to be a difficult game against West Ham and we don’t know what Arsenal will turn up against Watford.”

In other Aston Villa news: Top pundit has been wowed as Everton swoop for Villa ace. 

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