Southampton return to Premier League action with a trip to Aston Villa. Get clued up ahead of Saturday's encounter with our Match Pack...
Aston Villa vs Southampton
Saturday 5th March, 3pm GMT
Referee: Peter Bankes
Assistants: Ian Hussin, Wade Smith
Fourth official: Tim Robinson
VAR: Paul Tierney
Assistant VAR: Lee Betts
Saints will be in their yellow and blue away kit for the trip to Villa.
The club has also teamed up with Main Club Partner Sportsbet.io, who have an office in Kyiv, to provide free scarves for the 3,000 travelling fans as a sign of solidarity with Ukraine.
Supporters travelling to the game will find the scarves on their seats ahead of kick-off – the scarves will be in Southampton’s away colours of yellow and blue to represent the colours of the Ukrainian flag.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Southampton will want to continue their impressive run of form which has seen them surge up to ninth in the table while advancing in the Emirates FA Cup.
Now unbeaten in seven games in all competitions, only the top four have picked up more points in the last 10 games than Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side.
Fresh from Wednesday’s win over West Ham to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, Saints will now look to record the double over Aston Villa.
With the 1-0 win over the Villains in November seeing the end of Dean Smith’s reign, Steven Gerrard will be in the dugout this time around looking for just a second win in their last five matches.
Saints will wait on the fitness of four players ahead of Saturday’s outing.
Shane Long, Mohammed Salisu, Moi Elyounoussi and Kyle Walker-Peters will all be assessed, while Alex McCarthy, Lyanco and Nathan Tella remain sidelined.
For the hosts, winger Bertrand Traore is back in full training after returning from the Africa Cup of Nations with a hamstring injury and could be involved.
Carney Chukwuemeka is also expected to be available after missing out last weekend.
Ralph Hasenhüttl: "It’s important for us that we’re clear how good we are. We have shown that we can compete against the best teams in the league and this is a very good signal. But the tough games are also against the teams that are also in the bottom part of the table.
"We have shown in the past we can also win these games. They are super tough to win, winning games in the Premier League is always super tough, but we have managed it in the past and this is good to see."
Steven Gerrard: To follow.
ONES TO WATCH
Armando Broja: One of only three Premier League players aged under 21 to have been directly involved in 10+ goals this season, the Albanian produced an electric performance off the bench to score in midweek, and will head to Villa Park in buoyant mood.
Philippe Coutinho: The Brazilian has quickly adjusted to life back in the Premier League, with two goals and two assists from his six Villa appearances to date.
Operating between the lines, Saints will have to be switched on to the attacker's ability to pick a pass or threaten the goal directly.
Ollie Watkins 6
Jacob Ramsey 5
Ings, Archer 4
Buendía, Luiz 3
Ings, McGinn, Coutinho, Cash 2
Armando Broja 9
Ché Adams 8
Ward-Prowse, Elyounossi 7
Nathan Redmond 6
Kyle Walker-Peters 4
HEAD TO HEAD
Aston Villa: 29
LAST FIVE MEETINGS
November 2021: Saints 1-0 Aston Villa (A. Armstrong)
January 2021: Saints 0-1 Aston Villa
November 2020: Aston Villa 3-4 Saints (Ward-Prowse 2, Vestergaard, Ings)
February 2020: Saints 2-0 Aston Villa (Long, S. Armstrong)
December 2019: Aston Villa 1-3 Saints (Ings 2, Stephens)
DID YOU KNOW?
- Southampton have won six of their last eight Premier League games against Aston Villa (D1 L1), as many as they had in their previous 25 against them in the competition (D6 L13).
- Saints are unbeaten in five Premier League games (W3 D2), winning both of their last two by a 2-0 scoreline. Saints last won three consecutive league games without conceding in January 2016.
- Ralph Hasenhüttl's side have scored in each of their last 10 Premier League games, with only league leaders Manchester City on a longer current run in the competition (17).
- James Ward-Prowse has been involved in five goals in his last six Premier League games against Aston Villa (2 goals, 3 assists), scoring twice and assisting another in Saints’ 4-3 victory in this exact fixture last season.
- Ché Adams has been involved in a goal in each of his last four Premier League games (3 goals, 1 assist), his best such run in his English league career since scoring in six consecutive Championship games in January/February 2019.
Can't make the game? We’ve got you covered! We’ll bring you all of the action from Villa Park, as well as a host of behind-the-scenes access.
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