I've not got much time to research today, but we've played Southampton this season already haven't we? In my head I'm convinced we have and that we lost. So now I've looked and yes, we got spanked.
The score line doesn't suggest that. It was 4-3 in November, but we scored two goals in 90 plus minutes and they did look better than us. It's come back to me now.
But that was then and things have moved on. We were unlucky to lose to Burnley earlier this week. I don't think we deserved it. There was something about the match that had me feeling we were always going to score, but for a few minutes, we just lost our heads. But I don't think we deserved to lose and we did look good, despite losing. That's strange to write.
And that has to end today otherwise it's going to be four defeats away from home in a row and while that in itself isn't a catastrophe, it will mean that the opportunity we created for ourselves is lost. A win however and it will feel like we're still in that chasing pack. And we want to be in that chasing pack.
It's the last match of the day too and I'm not sure why, but I like these games. You will have an incentive and you know what you've got to do. It's win to stay in the pack or win to take advantage. And we have the players that can win these games for us.
In other news, Lansbury has left and Morgan Sanson is available to play. It will be a good game. And I need to run, back later.
Match facts from the BBC
- Southampton are vying to beat Aston Villa in five successive league matches for the first time.
- Villa are winless in nine games against Southampton in all competitions since a 3-2 triumph at St Mary's in December 2013 (D3, L6).
- Southampton's solitary victory in seven league matches came at home to Liverpool on 4 January (D3, L3). They only scored three goals in those fixtures.
- It's back-to-back defeats for the Saints, who last lost three league games in a row in November 2019.
- Nonetheless, 29 points is Southampton's second-highest tally at the halfway stage of a Premier League season. They had 33 points in 2014-15.
- A sixth home league win of the season would match their total for the whole of the previous campaign.
- Saints also need one more Premier League clean sheet to equal the nine they kept last season. Six of their eight clean sheets in 2020-21 have come at St Mary's Stadium.
- Shane Long has scored nine competitive goals against Aston Villa, more than versus any other club in his career.
- Danny Ings has scored five Premier League goals versus Villa. It's his joint-best record against an opponent, alongside Everton.
- Villa have gone four away league matches without a win, losing the past three and conceding at least twice in each defeat.
- However, Dean Smith's side have already equalled last season's final tally of nine Premier League victories.
- Regardless of Saturday's result, Aston Villa will have recorded their best points total at the halfway point of a Premier League season since 2009-10.
- Jack Grealish has been directly involved in 14 goals in 18 league games in 2020-21, as many as in 36 appearances last season.
- Ollie Watkins is looking to score in three consecutive league games for the first time since he did so with Brentford in August 2018.