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Aston Villa vs. Southampton, lineups and open match thread

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Aston Villa can make this season end, in a functional sense, with a win. Please make this season end. Please.

Bryn Lennon

Aston Villa are a very interesting club right now, and not in anything approaching a good way. As recently as a month ago, it looked as though it would be a pretty boring year, which would have been welcome; get enough points to ensure safety, play respectable football, and close out the season on a high note. Nice progress! And then everything caught on (figurative-I think) fire. Coaches sacked, fans praying for managers to be sacked, rumors of training ground bust-ups. It's like the McLeish era all over again! And then there are the takeover rumors, which continue to crop up-and actually seem to have a bit of heft to the this time around.

All of this can go away with one win. Villa will be safe, we can stop wondering about why Culverhouse and Karsa were sacked (because, really, none of us care all that much) and we can be confident in the knowledge that rumors of a takeover will be settled one way or the other. But then again, that requires Villa to win a game. At home, even. So, let's not get too far ahead of ourselves.

Aston Villa Starting XI

Brad Guzan; Leandro Bacuna, Ron Vlaar, Nathan Baker, Ryan Bertrand; Karim El Ahmadi, Ashley Westwood, Fabian Delph; Andi Weimann, Gabby Agbonlahor, Marc Albrighton

Aston Villa Bench

Jed Steer, Ciaran Clark, Matthew Lowton, Aleksandar Tonev, Yacouba Sylla, Grant Holt, Callum Robinson

Southampton Starting XI

Artur Boruc; Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren, Jose Fonte, Luke Shaw; Morgan Schneiderlin, Steven Davis, Victor Wanyama, James Ward-Prowse, Adam Lallana; Rickie Lambert

Southampton Bench

Paulo Gazzaniga, Jos Hooiveld, Jack Cork, Guilherme Do Prado, Callum Chambers, Harrison Reed, Sam Gallagher