Relegation six pointer at Villa Park as the Saints travel to take on Aston Villa.
A bleak Christmas is turning into a bleaker new year for Aston Villa, who now not only find themselves struggling in the league but also on the verge of a shock Capital One Cup semi-final exit following Tuesday’s 3-1 defeat to Bradford City. Confidence is low within Paul Lambert’s squad but they must rouse themselves for this game given Southampton sit just one point and one place below them in 17th.
The hosts could be boosted by the return from injury of Ron Vlaar while Southampton are definitely without defender José Fonte.
Venue Villa Park, Saturday 3pm
Last season n/a
Referee Chris Foy
This season’s matches 14 Y22, R0, 1.57 cards per game
Odds Aston Villa 8-5 Southampton 9-5 Draw 12-5
Subs from Marshall, Ireland, El Ahmadi, N’Zogbia, Weimann, Holman, Williams, Bowery, Stevens, Lichaj, Burke, Carruthers
Doubtful Holman (illness), Vlaar (calf), Westwood (ankle)
Injured Given (hamstring, 19 Jan), Albrighton (foot, 29 Jan), Herd (foot, 29 Jan), Gardner (knee, May), Bent (knee, Feb), Dunne (groin, unknown), Petrov (leukaemia, unknown)
Form guide DLLLWD
Disciplinary record Y39 R2
Leading scorer Benteke 6
Subs from K Davis, Gazzaniga, S Davis, Fox, Ward-Prowse, Do Prado, Richardson, Lee, Chaplow, Reeves, De Ridder, Stephens
Injured Fonte (knee, Feb), Lallana (knee, unknown)
Unavailable Mayuka (international duty)
Form guide DDDLWL
Disciplinary record Y19 R0
Leading scorer Lambert 8
Southampton’s 4-1 victory at St Mary’s in September was their first Premier League win of the season. Saints had trailed at the break to a Darren Bent goal but Rickie Lambert scored twice in the second-half to help inspire a fine comeback win.
That loss is Villa’s only defeat to Southampton in their last six league games (W3, D2, L1).
The last encounter played between the two sides at Villa Park came in August 2004, Carlton Cole and Darius Vassell with the goals that day in a 2-0 Villa win.
Southampton have kept clean sheets in all three of their Premier League wins at Villa Park: 1-0 in 1999 and 2002 and 2-0 in 1993. This will be their 14th trip (W3, D4, L6).
Aston Villa have won just five (13%) of their last 37 Premier League games (W5, D15, L17).
Paul Lambert’s side have scored only one goal in their last five home matches – a 1-0 win over fellow relegation candidates Reading.
No club has conceded more than Villa this term (41), while only QPR have scored as few as Lambert’s side (17).
Christian Benteke (136) has won more aerial battles than any other player in the Premier League this season.
Southampton have taken 14 points from their last 10 league games (W3, D5, L2).
If Nigel Adkins’s men avoid defeat they will equal their season’s best four-match unbeaten run – they have drawn each of their last three games.
Saints have won four of five previous meetings against fellow sides in the bottom six this season, the exception being their 2-0 defeat by Wigan in their opening home game.
Rickie Lambert has scored in three of Southampton’s last four Premier League away games.
SOURCE: BBC Sport
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