Match Preview: Aston Villa vs Southampton


Saturday 5th March 2022
Premier League
@Villa Park, Birmingham
KO: 15:00 GMT

Aston Villa return home to Villa Park looking to try and build some momentum following a 2-0 victory over Brighton last week.

A much needed win and a strong performance moved Villa on to 30 points as they look to gain what they can between now and the end of the season in preparation for next season.

Announcements in the week regarding the development of Villa Park and the facilities in and around the ground point to an expectation and huge push next season. The club will need to push for form and performances to attract further acquisitions of the quality to consistently challenge.

Southampton come to Villa Park in fine form and sit fifth in the form table with 5 wins, 4 draws and a single defeat in their last ten games.

Ralph Hassenhuttl has got a fine tune out of the Saints despite losing players at the start of the season and a lot of uncertainty around the club leading to a takeover by Serbian businessman Dragan Solak.

Villa boss Steven Gerrard was buoyed by the performance of the Villans last week and there seemed to be a renewed energy and organisation with the team. The victory also brought about a clean sheet which were a key to the successes last season.

Villa have won just one of the last ten games in the league against Southampton and have not beaten them at home since 14th August 2004 when Darius Vassell and Carlton Cole were on target.

Southampton won the league meeting between the two teams earlier in the season with a 1-0 victory courtesy of an early strike by Adam Armstrong. The defeat also happened to be the final game in charge for Dean Smith following a turbulent run of form.

Aston Villa Team News

Steven Gerrard will be torn between naming an unchanged side following last week’s win over Brighton but may be tempted to bring Emi Buendia back in for Danny Ings who Gerrard stated was, “Desperate to play against Southampton.”

Carney Chukwuemeka is due to miss a second game due to knock and Bertrand Traore (hamstring) is likely to be absent despite returning to training.

Marvelous Nakamba (knee) remains a long-term absentee but there was some positive news in that the Zimbabwean midfielder is, “Three to four weeks away” from resuming light training according to the Villa boss.

Possible starting line up:
Martinez, Digne, Mings, Konsa, Cash, Douglas Luiz, McGinn, Ramsey, Buendia, Coutinho, Watkins

Southampton Team News

Ralph Hassenhuttl has the majority of his squad to pick from however Kyle Walker-Peters faces a late test on his hamstring and Shane Long may miss the game due to a knock.

Nathan Tella (groin), Alex McCarthy (hamstring) and Lyanco (hamstring) will all be absent as they continue to recover.

Possible starting line up:
Forster, Walker-Peters, Salisu, Bednarek, Livramento, Elyounoussi, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, S Armstrong, Adams, Broja

 

Opposition breakdown:

Southampton are credited for pressing and aiming to control the game in the opposition half and are typically aggressive with the likes of Oriel Romeu at the heart of midfield. They create a lot of chances and look to shoot from range and the ever-impressive James Ward-Prowse will be a constant threat from both open play and set-pieces.

The key weaknesses from the Saints have been defending against attacks down the wings and protecting leads but their recent form points to improvements.

In regards to attacking, 18 of the 34 goals scored by Southampton have come from open play with 9 goals coming from set pieces, 3 penalties, 2 from counter attacks and 2 courtesy of own goals.

43% of their attacks have come down the left wing with 33% down the right-hand side and only 24% centrally.

65% of their shots have come centrally with 52% coming from inside the 18-yard box, 40% outside of the box and just 8% inside the six-yard box.

Defensively, Southampton have conceded 37 goals with 24 from open play, 10 goals from set pieces, 2 from penalties and a single own goal.

70% of the shots conceded from opposition sides have come centrally with 54% of shots being inside the 18-yard box, 34% coming from outside the box and 12% within the six-yard box.

Che Adams is the top scorer with 7 goals and Nathan Redmond tops the assists chart with 5 to date. However, captain and key player James Ward-Prowse has 6 goals and 4 assists to his name.

Southampton are 11th in the ‘away table’ with 3 wins, 4 draws and 6 defeats in comparison to Aston Villa who sit 13th in the ‘home table’ with 4 wins, 3 draws and 5 losses at home.


Head to Head record:

Aston Villa 29 wins, 23 Draws, Southampton 29 wins

Last five meetings:

05 Nov 2021 – Southampton 1-0 Aston Villa (Premier League)
30 Jan 2021 – Southampton 0-1 Aston Villa (Premier League)
01 Nov 2020 – Aston Villa 3-4 Southampton (Premier League)
22 Feb 2020 – Southampton 2-0 Aston Villa (Premier League)
21 Dec 2019 – Aston Villa 1-3 Southampton (Premier League)

 

AVILLAFAN MATCH PREDICTION

Southampton are in fantastic form and Villa will be hoping to continue to build upon the lift of the win last weekend.

I hate being negative but I just have a feeling that the midfield and high press of Southampton will bring about set piece opportunity for James Ward-Prowse who we all witnessed score twice from free kicks a few seasons ago in front of the Holte End. He is arguably the best set piece taker in world football currently so he has to be kept quiet.

Aston Villa 1-2 Southampton (sorry!)

 

Tip of the day
If you back the score prediction, the 2-1 win for Southampton is available at around 9/1 currently.

Aston Villa win – 13/10
Draw – 12/5
Southampton win – 2/1

A different tip this week as I fancy both Phillipe Coutinho and James Ward-Prowse to score. This is currently available at around 14/1.

 

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Original Source: A Villa Fan

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