Aston Villa must be one of the most improved sides in recent Premier League history. It was a near miracle they stayed up last season and now they lie in 10th, but their performances this season have probably merited an even higher position in the table.
On Wednesday night, Villa were unlucky to have lost to an in-form Burnley side 3-2. Nick Pope had one of those games where he made a string of top drawer saves to deny Villa. Jack Grealish left the pitch visibly frustrated because his side had peppered the goal and had dominated possession.
Villa enjoyed 61.8% possession and had 10 shots on target in comparison to Burnley’s five. Dean Smith’s men have lost their last three away games in the league, but played really well and in all of those matches they had chances to win all three. That makes the form guide is a little untrustworthy here.
Saturday 20:00 – Southampton v Aston Villa
Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Premier League
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Southampton were flying a few weeks back, but recently they have just looked a little off. The Saints have lost their mojo a bit and come into this contest having lost their last two games in the league to Leicester and Arsenal.
Also, Danny Ings has scored just one goal in his last seven games. His recent positive Covid-19 test and the rumours of him intending to leave once his contract ends may have had a part to play in his side’s dip in league form.
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In terms of the visitors, there is pace and goals in this Villa team – while time-and-time again this term they have showed their great spirit as a group. Opposing players have struggled to get the ball off of Jack Grealish and Villa’s players all look to be enjoying their football. My first selection in this game is an away win.
There has been under 2.5 goals scored in eight of Southampton’s last nine games in all competitions, so this is an area there may be some value in. That’s why I’m predicting there is going to be under 2.5 goals on Saturday night.
Ollie Watkins got the first goal of the game against both Burnley in mid-week and against Newcastle a few days previously. The former Brentford man has 10 goals this season for the Villains, and who could forget his fairy-tale hat-trick against Liverpool in the infamous 7-2 match back in October. I’m going to side with Watkins to be first name on the scoresheet at St Mary’s.
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