Aston Villa manager Dean Smith


Aston Villa will be more fluent in tonight’s Premier League showdown against West Ham after a 16-day break between fixtures, according to Noel Whelan.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider editor Wayne Veysey, the ex-Leeds United and Coventry City striker has backed Dean Smith to have improved his side on the training ground during the international break.

Villa have lost three of their four league matches this season after being promoted back to the top flight via the Championship play-off last season.

They spent around £150million on 12 new signings during the summer in what was the biggest overhaul of any club in the Premier League.

“When you have so many new signings, it’s difficult for everything to slot into place,” Whelan told Football Insider. “Having the two-week period between matches will have helped Dean Smith spend more time with his players and making adjustments on the training ground.

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“I’d certainly expect them to be a bit more fluent against West Ham. That’s the change you can expect. They’ve had a long time to prepare for the game and work on strategies to create goals.”

Villa have scored just four goals from their four games so far, although they have conceded only six times.

They are 18th in the table ahead of tonight’s fixture, while West Ham are ninth and will climb to third if they take all three points at Villa Park.

In other Aston Villa news, it can be REVEALED that Dean Smith has given the green light for the club to sell one of his signings.