Aston Villa travel to St Mary’s this Wednesday to face a strong Southampton side. Southampton are currently the surprise of the season with the team sitting in seventh place in the table. It’s been a much improved campaign for the Saints, last season Southampton were in a relegation battle, today they are chasing a spot in Europe. Southampton’s current success is similar to Aston Villa back when Martin O’Neill was in charge of the Villains.
Southampton have lost there last two games to Arsenal and Chelsea, so they should be fired up this evening in an effort to gain some much needed points. Aston Villa have tied their last two games, once coming behind against West Brom to tie 2-2 and most recently a very disappointing draw against last place Sunderland. Aston Villa have been a much better side away and this game could prove to be a little more comfortable.
Mauricio Pochettino: “We don’t have time to dwell on our two consecutive defeats because we are only thinking about tomorrow’s game. We have lost on two very difficult grounds at Arsenal and Chelsea, so now we will try to impose our values and get the win over Aston Villa. I am expecting a physical game. Aston Villa are a strong side and very good on the counter-attack, especially away from home.”
Paul Lambert: “We are 11th and there are some big clubs below us. The crazy thing is we’re just five points off Tottenham, who are regarded as one of the ‘big ones’. The game on Saturday wasn’t great entertainment, put it that way. And we were the home team. But you’ve got to have a bit of realism.”
Southampton are without number 1 keeper Artur Boruc who broke his hand last weekend. Additionally, back up keeper Kelvin Davies is also out injured so Pochettino will have to call up third keeper Paulo Gazzaniga. Morgan Schneiderlin has picked up a groin injury and trio Gaston Ramirez, Danny Fox and Guly do Prado are also unavailable.
Lambert will assess the fitness of Austrian striker Andreas Weimann after the forward experienced a tight hamstring injury. Paul Lambert has no other fresh injury concerns.
Rickie Lambert scored three goals in the two Barclays Premier League meetings with Aston Villa last season.
Aston Villa have drawn the most away matches in Premier League history (129) including the last three in a row.
The Saints have lost just one of their last 11 Premier League games at St Mary’s (W6 D4 L1), including winning the last four in a row.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side have conceded just one goal in their last five Premier League home matches.
In Villa last 10 Premier League games they have either kept a clean sheet (five times) or conceded exactly two goals (five times)
Southampton 1-1 Aston Villa