*looks at fixture list*
Aston Villa head to the St. Mary’s for the third time in seven months and, let’s face it, the last couple visits haven’t gone great. Here’s to hoping, I guess…
What to know about Villa
Well hey, if Villa don’t win Saturday at Southampton, it’ll end up being at least four months since a league win!
That’s bad. Like… really bad.
The sad thing about Villa’s loss to Watford at the weekend was that it showed a lot of really nice, really good glimpses of the fact that this team isn’t that terrible.
It’s not like Villa have five points because they’re getting played off the pitch every time out. They’ve played well enough to have, say, 10 points, but keep making silly, stupid mistakes that keep them from getting the points every time they take the pitch.
Which in its own way isn’t playing well enough to get those points.
As it has been for years, the defence is a catastrophic mess.
(P.S.: Maybe Villa shouldn’t have driven Ron Vlaar away. You know, the guy who significantly improved the Villa defence during his three years here? Whatever.)
I’ve heard a lot of people say striker is Villa’s biggest priority in December which is just… baffling.
Jordan Ayew scored again last week, a real nice finish, and he looks like the type of talisman capable of getting the Claret and Blues out of this mess. And I’m serious.
If Villa do it and stay up in May, he’s going to be the guy we point to as the key cog. Not bad for someone most fans wrote off as being rubbish after 90 minutes in a Villa shirt.
Related: What happened to Jores Okore? Can we please see him?
Also, if he’s fit, it’s time to push Micah Richards to right back. Alan Hutton is a liability.
What to know about Southampton
Uh… they’re a lot better than Villa!
To be fair, this isn’t necessarily a poor time to visit the South Coast. In their last two league outings, the Saints have lost 1-0 to Stoke City and 3-1 to Manchester City, before dropping a 6-1 decision to Liverpool in the League Cup midweek.
Then again, this is the perfect matchup for Ronald Koeman’s side to work their way back to the win column, which they have only done five times this year.
I don’t know. Southampton are likely to have a lot of the ball and, quite honestly, until Villa sort themselves out at the back, it’s not worth worrying too much about what their opponents will do — right now, it doesn’t matter who’s getting the chances, Villa are giving up goals.
That has to change.
(So expect Steven Davis score because, let’s be honest, that’s what happens.)
Bovada: Southampton 20/41, Villa 6/1, Draw 16/5
Paddy Power: Southampton 1/2, Villa 13/2, Draw 3/1
SkyBet: Southampton 1/2, Villa 6/1, Draw 3/1
Villa are going to get a win some time. I just don’t think it happens Saturday, unfortunately. Ayew gets on the scoresheet again but it’s not enough.
Southampton 3, Villa 1