Five. The miserable amount of league goals Aston Villa have scored equal to the amount that Southampton have conceded. Chelsea and Swansea are joint-second in fewest league goals conceded with 11 goals against through 11 matchdays.
It's been difficult enough for Paul Lambert's team to score goals against bad opposition. Everyone knows about the hilariously bad scoreless streak, only scoring one goal in a span of seven matches. Granted, Villa went up against the whole of last year's top six, but being held every time out is unacceptable.
Fortunately, the defence looked adequate for much of the match against Tottenham, and who could have expected the team to hold on after Christian Benteke's demoralising red card? Against West Ham a solid point was earned, as any time Villa pick up points without Benteke or Fabian Delph in the lineup is a good point in my opinion.
Even though the losing streak has been stopped, it still looks like there could real danger due to the fact that goals simply aren't being scored. No matter how good the defence is, getting even a point when you don't score is very difficult. This means that the winless streak could continue.
Aston Villa's backline is banged up as well. Skipper Ron Vlaar will miss, as well as the mostly pleasant surprise that has been Philippe Senderos. Third choice centre back Nathan Baker is out too. Will we see Jores Okore? Is Okore going to demand a transfer if Lambert doesn't give him a chance? I probably would.
In all likelihood, Okore will be paired with Ciaran Clark. Let that sink in for a second. Therefore, Lambert should probably just go for broke and try to at least entertain the few fans that show up because realistically this team has no chance to even scrape a point.
Despite a tumultuous summer, Southampton are stronger than ever. A summer exodus had some punters lumping on the Saints to go down, but new manager Ronald Koeman has them playing incredible football. Shrewd summer transfers mean last year's Eredivisie top scorer Graziano Pellé and Dušan Tadić has fans thinking "who?" when asked about Adam Lallana. (The 26 year-old Serb already has seven assists, Liverpool's new boy that cost more than twice as much had 8 in a full league campaign last year.) They fully deserve the second place spot on the table that they are currently in, and although they probably won't finish as high, playing in European competition next season looks to be a real possibility.
Last season, Villa eked out a 3-2 win on the heels of a stunning goal off the underside of the crossbar following a classic 50 yard surge forward by Fabian Delph. Villa had about 28 percent of the ball, yet finished clinically and pulled out the win. Another smash-and-grab could be the plan for Lambert and Co. and we will see if he elects for five at the back again.
Not a member? Join 7500 to Holte and start commenting | Follow @7500toHolte on Twitter