Two sides who are desperate to end their sluggish recent run and pick up what could turn out to be three crucial points, Southampton will welcome Aston Villa to St. Mary’s on Saturday afternoon.
Extending their recent dip on the South Coast with a 2-1 defeat against Burnley last weekend, the Saints have lost their last three matches on the bounce after a stunning start to the New Year.
On the flip side, coming off of their last gasp heartbreak against Spurs on Sunday and hit with what was a devastating 3-2 defeat at Villa Park, Dean Smith’s men have now suffered back-to-back Premier League defeats and still find themselves sat firmly at the heart of a relegation scrap.
Potentially with one eye on next month’s EFL Cup Final at Wembley, the Midlands outfit do also hold a worrying record against Saturday’s hosts.
Hit with a 3-1 defeat at Villa Park in the reverse fixture, the Claret and Blues have lost four of their last five matches against the Saints and you might be interested to know that a similar outcome can be found priced at 4/6 with Ladbrokes.
Danny Ings continues to shine
Hit with a 2-1 defeat at home against Burnley last weekend and now losing their last three matches on the bounce, some sections of the St. Mary’s crowd find themselves still looking over their shoulder.
Shipping nine goals on their three-match losing run, including shipping four at Anfield when opening February, the Saints have also continued to show some cause for concern on home soil.
Hit with back-to-back Premier League defeats on the South Coast and with just one win to their name since the 4th of December, there is no doubt that Head Coach Ralph Hasenhüttl will be calling on the red-hot Danny ings to lead their charge this weekend.
Bagging what turned out to be a consolation strike against his former employers last time out, the 27-year-old has scored 18 goals in all competitions this season – the last Southampton player to score more in a season for Saints as a top-flight club was James Beattie in 2003.
Heavily tipped with a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s squad, the one-time Liverpool striker can be found priced at 10/11 with Coral to extend on that tally this weekend.
Villa rely on Grealish
Left fuming with a controversial VAR call last weekend and watching Tottenham grab a 94th-minute winner at Villa Park, the Premier League returners find themselves in the midst of another worrying rut.
Despite booking their spot in the final of this year’s EFL Cup, Dean Smith’s side have now been hit with back-to-back top-flight defeats, including what could be a crucial 2-1 loss away at fellow strugglers Bournemouth.
If Villa are to find a way to extend their Premier League status for a second season, there is no doubt that the former Brentford boss will be almost solely reliant on skipper Jack Grealish.
The midfield playmaker has had a direct hand in 13 goals in the Premier League this season (7 goals & 6 assists), five more than the next Villa player and more than any other English midfielder.
Another starlet who is also tipped to gain a first senior call up to Southgate’s England squad, Villa’s MVP also found the net in what turned out to be a consolation strike against Southampton earlier in the season.
You might be interested to know that betting offers like Grealish can be found priced at 3/1 with Paddy Power to extend on his purple patch this weekend.