Aston Villa will host Southampton in the Premier League at Villa Park tomorrow in the first of three must-win games.
Many supporters have pinpointed the three games against Southampton, Norwich and Watford over the festive period as must-win. If we were to lose all three games, it wouldn’t relegate us of course, but it will surely shape the remainder of the season. The thing is, I am sure all three sides are looking at their game against Villa as must-win also.
Pundits and football fans alike wrote Southampton off when they lost 0-9 to Leicester back in October but they are doing their best to prove people wrong. In fact, if it wasn’t for that result their goal difference would be much closer to Villa’s as both sides sit on 15 points.
Southampton have lost their last two games but beat teams in and around them when they beat both Watford and Norwich in the two games prior. Their home and away from a virtually identical with 7 points at St Marys and 8 on the road.
Tyrone Mings is still missing with a hamstring strain and isn’t expected back until January. As I said last week, this opens up opportunities for other centre-halves and Ezri Konsa will be hoping to win his place after dropping to the bench in the defeat to Sheffield United.
Dean Smith will also have to make a decision on his striker. Despite scoring in his cameo performance against Liverpool, Wesley has come under a lot of pressure of late due to his lack of goals. Will Jonathan Kodjia get the nod over the Brazilian?
Southampton will be without Sofiane Boufal who hs a broke toe after he stubbed it on his kitchen table in November. Moussa Djenepo will also miss the game due to a hamstring problem.
Decisions will be made on Kevin Danso and Yann Valery who have been suffering from the flu.