It’s a third St Mary’s outing in a week for Southampton on Saturday, with the visit of Aston Villa in the Premier League. Get ready for the fixture with our Match Pack, in association with eToro…
Southampton vs Aston Villa
St Mary’s Stadium
Saturday 30 January, 8pm GMT
Referee: Lee Mason
Assistants: Mark Scholes, Simon Long
Fourth Official: Tim Robinson
VAR: Mike Dean
Assistant VAR: Andy Halliday
HOW TO WATCH
The fixture will be broadcast live on Sky Sports.
WHAT'S AT STAKE?
Saints will see a return to St Mary’s so soon after Tuesday night’s defeat to Arsenal as the perfect opportunity to bounce back.
Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side currently side in 11th and haven’t won domestically since their opening Premier League fixture of the new year; a 1-0 win at home to Liverpool.
A much-needed win over Aston Villa could see Saints rise to as high as 8th if results go their way, leapfrogging Saturday’s opponents in the process.
After a late Burnley fightback denied Villa anything points-wise on Wednesday night despite leading twice, Dean Smith’s side will welcome three points which could see them two points off fourth with two games in hand.
Ralph Hasenhüttl provided a positive update in terms of team news during his pre-game press conference.
Ryan Bertrand will return to the side following his suspension that forced him out of the game against Arsenal, though his full-back counterpart Kyle Walker-Peters remains a doubt.
Nathan Redmond, who made his return from injury as a substitute during Tuesday night's defeat, is also available for selection.
Two more key players available again are Moussa Djenepo and Oriol Romeu, however Hasenhüttl is cautious about whether they will be able to start on Saturday.
For the visitors Dean Smith confirmed that midfielder Morgan Sanson, who signed from Marseille on Thursday, is in line to make his debut.
Kortney Hause and Wesley Moraes remain out with foot and knee injuries respectively.
Arsenal (h) 1-3 (Armstrong)
Arsenal (h) 1-0 (Gabriel OG) FA Cup
Shrewsbury Town (h) – FA Cup - 2-0 (Nlundulu, Ward-Prowse)
Leicester (a) 2-0
Liverpool (h) 1-0 (Ings)
Burnley (a) 3-2 (Watkins, Grealish)
Newcastle (h) 2-0 (Watkins, Traoré)
Manchester City (a) 2-0
Liverpool (h) 1-4 (Barry) FA Cup
Manchester United (a) 2-1 (Traoré)
Ralph Hasenhüttl: "Villa have shown what a strong season they've played so far. They are a good team, good side, with good players.
"We played one of our best games [of the season] in our first game against them; for sixty minutes it was fantastic and then in the end not so good. But it's good for us to go into this one with a few more alternatives and go in with the right game plan."
Dean Smith: "It just shows you what can be done by having that continuity at the club with Ralph [Hasenhüttl] and his coaching staff.
“They’ve topped the league at times this season and they may not be having their brightest spell at the moment, they just lost to Arsenal, but it’s been a fantastic season so far.”
ONE TO WATCH
Stuart Armstrong: Despite the result, Stuart Armstrong posed a key attacking threat last-time-out against Arsenal, typified by his early goal.
The Scot will want to keep this form going, so be sure to look out for more darting runs, high tempo pressing and cuts inside from the flanks.
: Notching in each of their last two games, summer acquisition Ollie Watkins is experiencing a remarkable change of fortunes in front of goal in recent weeks.
The forward’s upturn in form is coming at the right time for Villa, who will be looking to make the most of their games in hand to continue moving up the table.
Danny Ings 7
James Ward-Prowse 5
Ché Adams 4
James Ward-Prowse 5
Ché Adams 4
Danny Ings 3
Ollie Watkins 10
Jack Grealish 7
Anwar El Ghazi 6
Jack Grealish 10
John McGinn 5
Douglas Luiz 3
HEAD TO HEAD
Aston Villa: 28
DID YOU KNOW?
- Saints have won their last four Premier League games against Aston Villa, their best top-flight winning run against the Villians since August 1989.
- Saints are looking to win five consecutive top-flight matches against an opposition for the first time since they beat West Ham five times between 1988 and 1992.
- Shane Long has been directly involved in 12 goals in 16 Premier League appearances against Aston Villa (7 goals, 5 assists)
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