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Southampton vs Aston Villa: Return of the Mac

Villa head to the South coast to face Southampton in the League Cup this week, but first check out what happened last time

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Wow. It sure has been an eventful couple of days right? Tim Sherwood is no more, but the season must go on. Villa travel to Southampton in the Capital One Cup 4th round on Wednesday night so of course we're going to look back at the last time we played the Saints. Yes, this is Don't look back in anger, but this time I just might make an exception.

The last time we met

The last time we met, Aston Villa were utterly outplayed and humiliated in a resounding 6-1 defeat. It was a dismal game which saw Ron Vlaar and Shay Given cementing themselves as past it. Sadio Mane scored a three minute hattrick, Shane Long netted a first half brace and Graziano Pelle added insult to injury with a 6th late in the second half. Christian Benteke scored for Villa but it didn't really matter.

Technically speaking, that day was a good one for Villa. Yeah, they got trounced, but a Hull defeat that same day saw Villa secure their Premier League safety for the season. There's probably some irony in there somewhere. On the bright side, only half of the starting team that day still have relevance at Villa. The others have since either moved on or are named Charles N'Zogbia. The bad news, Southampton have retained much of the side.

Return of the Mac

Yes that's right, with Tim Sherwood gone, it's the return of the Mac as Kevin MacDonald is set to manage the team this week, and until a permanent manager is appointed. Kevin MacDonald isn't a stranger to managing the Claret and Blue, having previously taken charge in between Martin O'Neil and Gerard Houlier's reigns of drama and terror. K-Mack is a Villa legend and hopefully he can do something to fix the damage that has already been done this season.

That being said, there is no pressure on Kevin MacDonald. Rather, all of the pressure is on the Aston Villa ownership to appoint the right man for the job. The last two or three appointments have either been short sighted or just wrong, and there is no margin for error this time around. The lack of points taken in the first ten matches means that Villa can't really afford any slip ups between now and the season's end. The club's position in the Premier League depends on it.

Southampton this season

Southampton have been solid, but unspectacular this season. Reasonable signings have been made to replace the likes of Clyne and Schneiderlin, and their performances in the league have them down as a solid mid table side. Saying that, a team that is as good as Villa are on paper should be able to get a result against this Southampton side.

Realistically, this match is irrelevant. Earlier on in the season the idea of a cup run was quite appealing, but now, every league match is like a cup final, so the focus has to be on staying afloat. Yes, winning might give a bit of a morale boost but the bigger picture is simple, start winning, or go down. Oh so simple. But oh so worrying.

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