With things firmly back on the winning track following the 2-1 victory over Leeds United last weekend, Aston Villa look on to this weekend’s match at Southampton. The Saints currently sit last place in the table with 15 points to Villa’s 11th with 25 points, joined by a somewhat jarring West Ham United and Everton (those two have no business in the relegation zone, but here they are and at least Everton look to stay). As for players to look out for, James Ward-Prowse in midfield, Kyle Walker-Peters at right-back, and Che Adams in the forward position are expected to feature. While they’ve had recent success in cup matches, their last three league games have ended in defeat. Boxing Day at home was a 3-1 loss to Brighton and Hove Albion, then on to Fulham and Craven Cottage for a 2-1 downfall, and finally, another loss at Saint Mary’s; a 1-0 scoreline against Nottingham Forest.
The Villa lineup this week should be similar to last, with John McGinn remaining injured and Matty Cash something of a question mark along with his left side counterpart, Lucas Digne. Emi Martinez will start in goal, with Alex Moreno at left-back and, coming back from injury, Matty Cash on the right. In the midfield, we’ll once again see the partnership of Boubacar Kamara and Douglas Luiz. Further up the pitch, Emi Buendia will grace the left and Jacob Ramsey the right. The striker partnership will be Ollie Watkins and Leon Bailey. It’s way too early for a Jhon Durán conversation, but give it a few weeks.
PREDICTION: If Villa don’t mess around this should be three points, but we all remember Stevenage. I don’t see that happening here and that sour result should have the squad’s collective head firmly on its shoulders going forward, so I think things end up with another 2-1 victory.