Thursday, April 2, 2020

Prediction: Southampton vs Aston Villa

Verdict: Danny Ings to score anytime & Both teams to score

Best Odds: 6/4

Bookmaker: Bet365

Two sides who are desperate to pick up maximum points and end their respective ruts, Southampton will welcome Aston Villa to St. Mary’s on Saturday afternoon.

Southampton

Starting with the hosts, while Southampton’s remarkable run of form entering the New Year may have seen them skyrocket away from the drop zone, the Saints do find themselves stuck in another sticky patch. Coming off the back of what was seen to be a shock 2-1 defeat against Burnley on the South Coast last weekend, Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men have now lost their last three matches on the bounce and they have picked up just a sole victory across any competition since the 11th of January. Still with some fans around St. Mary’s looking over their shoulder, there is no doubt that the former RB Leipzig boss will be desperate for his side to find some much-needed stability at the back. Including shipping four against Liverpool earlier in the month, Southampton have nine goals in their three appearances since opening February. While the Saints might be dealing with some rather worrying issues defensively, they do have one leading marksman who has continued on quite the run of form. Once again finding the net against Burnley last weekend and tipped with a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad, Danny Ings has scored 18 goals in all competitions this season – the last Southampton player to score more in a season with Saints as a top-flight club was James Beattie in 2003.

Team News

Southampton’s on-loan defender Kyle Walker-Peters will miss Saturday’s game because of a calf problem.

Sofiane Boufal is out with the ankle complaint he sustained against Burnley, while Nathan Redmond remains sidelined by a hamstring injury.

Aston Villa

As for the visitors, undoubtedly left heartbroken to have seen Tottenham snatch a 94th-minute winner at Villa Park last weekend, Dean Smith’s side still find themselves in the midst of what could be another rut. Also opening February with a 2-1 defeat at the Vitality in what was billed as a real relegation six-pointer, they have now been hit with back-to-back losses and hold just a one-point buffer over the drop zone. Potentially with one eye on their EFL Cup Final against Manchester City next month, the former Brentford boss will be most concerned by his side’s continued issues while outside of the Midlands. Including their defeat away at Bournemouth three weeks ago, Villa have managed to win just one of their last nine Premier League matches on their travels, a run that stems back to the 5th of November. Still heavily reliant on midfield talisman Jack Grealish, Saturday’s traveling support should also be worried by their most recent meetings against the Saints. Hit with a 3-1 hammering when the two sides faced off earlier in the season, Smith’s side have lost four of their last five matches against Southampton and they have not beaten the South Coast outfit in their last seven attempts.

Team News

Tyrone Mings will return in defence for Aston Villa after recovering from tonsillitis.

Forward Keinan Davis is due to start training on Monday following his hamstring issue.

Key Factors to Consider

  • When the two sides faced off earlier in the season, Southampton picked up a 3-1 win at Villa Park.
  • In fact, along with winning four of their last five matches against Aston Villa, the Saints are unbeaten in their last seven matches against Saturday’s guests.
  • However, Southampton have won just one of their last five Premier League matches at St. Mary’s.
  • Villa have won just one of their last nine Premier League matches on the road.
  • Saints striker Danny Ings has scored 18 goals in all competitions this season – the last Southampton player to score more in a season with Saints as a top-flight club was James Beattie in 2003.

Conclusion

On paper, Saturday’s matchup at St. Mary’s should produce plenty of chances at both ends. With both sides enduring another worrying sticky patch and dealing with some rather glaring issues at the back, it should be noted that seven of the last eight combined matches between Villa and Southampton have seen both teams find the net. With the Saints picking up a 3-1 win earlier in the season in a contest that produced 36 shots on goal, we’re backing another lively contest this weekend.

Verdict: Danny Ings to score anytime & Both teams to score

Best Odds: 6/4

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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