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After three Premier League games without a win, Aston Villa returned to victorious ways on Saturday and by getting the better of Brighton, Steven Gerrard’s men once again have a spring in their step.
One that they will look to use this weekend, as they play host to a red-hot Southampton and with the Saints marching to another win last Friday, they now also find themselves lying 9th in the Premier League table.
When looking at all the biggest websites for betting, there are a number of options that are available for a weekend tip and although backing Southampton to win makes a lot of sense, there is arguably a better route to go down.
One that sees the clash between Aston Villa and Southampton be something of a cagey one to start with and because of this, I think all the action will unfold after the first 45 minutes are played out.
Which is why a goalless draw at halftime takes my fancy and if you think this will also be the case, you can back this outcome at odds of 9/4 with 888sport - something that is certainly worth your weekend consideration.
Before Aston Villa’s trip to Brighton on Saturday, not many would have given them a chance of earning maximum points for their troubles and especially after such a recent downturn in form.
However, Steven Gerrard’s men were by far the better side on the day and after such a dominant display at the Amex Stadium, their performance was certainly worthy of a win over the Seagulls.
While it is a win that also keeps the relegation battle at bay and although the campaign is far from over, you get the feeling that mid-table malaise will eventually be the order of the day at Villa Park.
Then again, it will not be for the want of trying and with the feeling of a league win now circulating throughout the camp, Steven Gerrard will still harbour desires of a top-half finish at the end of the season.
A desire which could become more of a reality by the end of Saturday afternoon and if they get the better of Southampton, then their fortunes will only improve. However, if they are the latest team to be marched over by the Saints, then such a desire may turn into a fantasy.
In terms of injuries and suspensions for the visit of Southampton, there are no new concerns after the impressive win at Brighton on Saturday and this means that manager Steven Gerrard is once again without the services of Marvelous Nakamba in midfield.
With no league loss in their last five league outings, Southampton are quickly becoming one of the form teams in the division and it is this form, which has thrust them into the top-half of the table.
A run of results which has seen them hold league leaders Manchester City at home before going on to beat Tottenham on the road. Add another well-earned point away at Manchester United and the Saints are certainly not flat track bullies.
While those three positive results have acted as the springboard for two wins at home and with Everton and Norwich offering little in the way of resistance, it is now 11 points earned from the last 15 on offer.
A run that will probably be too late to enter the conversation regarding European qualification at the end of the season, but it could spark another debate regarding Southampton’s current man in charge.
Because if Ralph Hasenhuttl keeps himself at the helm of a winning ship, then the bigger clubs may soon place the Austrian on their radars and with Manchester United needing a new manager in the summer, the Saints boss is not the worst appointment they could make.
In terms of injuries and suspensions for the trip to Aston Villa, there are no new additions to Southampton’s injury list and that means manager Ralph Hasenhuttl is still unable to call upon the trio of Alex McCarthy, Nathan Tella and Lysanco.
When it comes to the rivalry between Aston Villa and Southampton, there is literally nothing to split the pair and this means that like always, this encounter could end up going either way on Saturday.
In terms of their overall head-to-head record, Aston Villa have won on 29 occasions, Southampton 29 and there have been 23 draws
Another ground that is situated within the West Midlands, Villa Park is a stadium that has played host to cup semi-finals and finals along the years and although it is not as shiny as it once was, it is still a ground steeped in English football history.
With COVID-19 restrictions being lifted in England, it means there is no longer the need to show a Vaccine Passport before attending the ground. Which means, match tickets are the only item that is required to be produced at the time of writing.
When it comes to looking at the Premier League odds for other the outright or relegation markets, neither Aston Villa or Southampton are at the top of either list and therefore, the focus for both should lie solely on the weekend.
If Aston Villa can come out on top, it will give their hopes of progress up the table a substantial boost. While if Southampton earn another win on the road, it will only continue their current run of impressive form in the Premier League.