It still amazes me how different results can affect my desire to write an article. When Aston Villa are winning, I can’t stop and when we don’t, it feels like a real chore. I guess it’s probably similar when you play the game also, the more you win, the more you can’t wait for the next game to come around. Well, like it or not, Villa’s next game is upon us as we host Southampton at Villa Park in the Premier League’s lunchtime kick-off.
Things were going ever so well until Leeds rocked up at Villa Park a little over a week ago. They completely outdid us on the day so credit is where its due. The real test is today as so many others have already said, can Dean Smith’s side bounce back?
Southampton also plays with a high press that really hurt a Villa side that failed to get going in their former game. Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side have picked up ten points from a possible fifteen so far this season so will be pretty happy with their start. Their defeats have come against Crystal Palace and Tottenham but last time out they managed to beat the unbeaten (at the time) Everton quite comfortably.
Villa have twelve points on the board, having played a game less but as I already mentioned, the true test is how we bounce back from that Leeds defeat.
There is no real change on the injury list for Villa. Everyone who was available for the Leeds game will be available today. It really wouldn’t surprise me if Smith stuck with the same side that has started all five of our opening fixtures.
Wesley stepped up his return to training this week following his long layout but isn’t expected back until close to Christmas. Tom Heaton will be pushing for a return to the matchday squad but today may prove too early for the keeper.
Theo Walcott will return after missing out on the win at Everton as he was unable to play against his parent club.
Southampton will be without Moussa Djenepo (thigh), Mohamed Salisu (unknown), and William Smallbone (thigh).
Video via avfc.co.uk
Referee: Darren England.
Assistants: Adam Nunn, Dan Cook. Fourth official: Michael Oliver. VAR: Chris Kavanagh. Assistant VAR: Mark Scholes.
DID YOU KNOW
Aston Villa have picked up more points (12) from their opening five games than they achieved in their final ten games (10) last season.
Jack Grealish has created more chances (106) in the Premier League than any other player except Kevin De Bruyne (151).
Only Liverpool (18) and Manchester City (15) have won more games than Southampton (12) in the 2020 calendar year.
I am very sceptical about today’s game. I would love to say this is a very different Villa side and that I am confident we are able to learn from the Leeds press and bounce back but I am unsure.
I have tried to be positive on my previews this season but I am going to go with a score-draw.
Aston Villa 1-1 Southampton.