Southampton at Villa Park in a must win game for both sides

It's been a strange week. It started as every other and then something happened and now I don't know what is going to happen next week or even this afternoon. And I'm not talking about the football, I'm talking about me. But the same could be written for Aston Villa.

Beating Liverpool in the League Cup was good. I was nervous at the start of the game, we made so many changes, but the players that played did what they had to do. Even with less of the ball. Today is very important for us and you could even call it a six pointer.


And it isn't just today. It's Norwich and Watford. We need to win them all or some are going to get worried.

And there is not much else I need to write about today, I think that sums it up. So what else happened this week? Well, in football, Arsenal appointed a new manager. I say new manager, it's someone that has never managed before and I worry for them. This trend of appointing former players is taking jobs from real managers and I'm not sure it's good for the game.

Only time will tell, but we can all say the right things, but that doesn't win you silverware. So on that, I leave this post and try to figure out what happens today, for me and the Club. I think I know, because I think I know what is best. But only time will tell. I'm back just before kick-off.

Match facts from the BBC

Head-to-head

  • Aston Villa are winless in the past six meetings in all competitions, culminating in a 4-2 Premier League home defeat in April 2016.
  • Since they returned to the Premier League in 2012, Southampton are unbeaten in their four top-flight visits to Villa Park (W2, D2).
  • Saints could win consecutive league away matches against Villa for the first time.

Aston Villa

  • Villa have lost six of their past eight league games, earning just four points.
  • They could suffer four consecutive league defeats for the first time since a run of five in February 2017 in the Championship.
  • All but one of the 15 points earned by Aston Villa have come against sides currently in the bottom half of the table (W4, D2, L1).
  • Dean Smith's side have dropped an unrivalled 13 points from winning positions in the Premier League this season.
  • The 22 goals they have conceded in the second half is also the most by any side in the division so far.
  • Jack Grealish has scored six goals in all competitions in 2019-20, equalling last season's career-best tally.
  • Left-back Matt Targett made 63 appearances for Southampton across five years before joining Villa in the summer.

Southampton

  • If Southampton fail to win, they will be in the Premier League relegation zone at Christmas for the first time since 2004-05, when they went down. Saints avoided relegation from a similar position in both 1993-94 and 1998-99.
  • Ralph Hasenhuttl's side have only taken two points from the past five away matches, but they are yet to suffer successive Premier League defeats on their travels this season.
  • They could lose more than 10 of their opening 18 fixtures of a Premier League campaign for the first time since 2001-02.
  • Southampton have gone 12 league matches without a clean sheet, the longest current run in the division.
  • Their last 13 league goals have all been scored by Englishmen.
  • Danny Ings is one goal shy of becoming only the third Saints player to score 10 in a Premier League season before Christmas, emulating Matt Le Tissier in 1994-95 and James Beattie in 2002-03.
  • Shane Long has scored six Premier League goals versus Aston Villa, more than he has against any other side.

The manager