Competition: Premier League – Southampton vs. Aston Villa
Venue: St Mary’s Stadium – Saturday, May 16th – 12:45 BST (7:45 ET)
Match Odds: Southampton 4/5 – Draw 5/2 – Aston Villa 7/2
The Saints are chasing their own ambitions however, as they close in on Europa League football. They are one point off Tottenham and will need a win to keep the pressure on Spurs going into the final weekend.
Southampton have been impressive this term despite their drop in form recently and have managed to only concede 12 goals at home in the Premier League, which is no mean feat.Embed from Getty Images
However, they haven’t registered a win in their last four and have conceded at least two in all of those matches, so Villa will feel confident ahead of this one.
Southampton’s home record in the Premier League: P18 – W10 – D4 – L4
Aston Villa have turned a corner under Tim Sherwood as they look more confident and hungry under the former Spurs boss, achieving a 55% win ratio in the Premier League alone.
When you add this to the matter of them being in the FA Cup final, few will argue what a great job Sherwood has done in such a short space of time as the Villains looked doomed at one point.Embed from Getty Images
Much of the recent form has been down to the scoring streak that Christian Benteke has put together, netting ten times in the league since Sherwood came in. A sensational return.
Aston Villa’s away record in the Premier League: P18 – W5 – D2 – L11
This being said, Villa have only managed to find the net 12 times away from home this season and will need to be at their best to beat the Saints on Saturday.
Southampton will be without Dusan Tadic, Jay Rodriguez, Morgan Schneiderlin, Emmanuel Mayuka and Fraser Forster. James Ward-Prowse is back in contention after serving a suspension. Kelvin Davis is expected to come in for Paulo Gazzaniga in goal.
Aston Villa will travel to Southampton without Chris Herd, Ciaran Clark and Nathan Baker as all three are ruled out. Ashley Westwood should continue to keep Carlos Sanchez out of the side and Gabby Agbonlahor could be preferred to Charles N’Zogbia in attack.
Southampton’s last five: W/L/D/L/L
Aston Villa’s last five: D/W/L/W/W
Key Stat: Villa have only lost once away at Southampton since November 2000, a 4-1 loss in 2012.
Key Player: Christian Benteke – The Belgian hit-man has been sensational as of late he will be expected to torture Southampton’s defence in this one.Embed from Getty Images
Southampton 1-1 Aston Villa – With both teams needing a win, expect them to cancel each other out, as a draw looks the most likely result. A point for Villa should be enough to keep them out of any trouble on the last day, while Southampton will have all to play for should they avoid defeat themselves.