Premier League Preview: Aston Villa vs. Southampton
- Aston Villa leads all-time series 25W-19D-20L
- Villa: 4 of six points from Saints last season
- Paul Lambert will manage his 100th for Villa
Southampton looks to keep up its surprising Top 4 form when it visits Villa Park to face Paul Lambert’s struggling Aston Villa on Monday. (Watch live on NBCSN at 3pm ET and online via Live Extra).
The Saints have won their last four matches to surge to second in the Premier League, a point above Manchester City and seven behind red-hot Chelsea.
And Aston Villa has greeted its own hot start with an ice cold run of six losses and one draw. The good news is that draw may be something to build off, as the Villans held West Ham at Upton Park before the international break.
What they’re saying
American keeper Brad Guzan on Aston Villa on losing – “‘Every team from top to bottom, they go through tough spells. It’s how you come out of those tough spells which speaks volumes as a group. For us the game against Southampton is a massive chance to build on the result at West Ham. I think whether you lose six games on the bounce or one game, there’s always a feel of disappointment. Being a professional you never want to lose. You’re fighting and scrapping in training not to lose a five-a-side game. Guys didn’t get to a professional level by accepting losing.”
Saints defender Toby Alderweireld on not having a let down – “I’m four times a champion – three times in Holland, one in Spain, I’ve played in a final of the Champions League, and a World Cup quarter-final, so I want to bring it to the other guys. Not to say ‘do this’ but just talk about football and my opinion about it. That’s the way I want to play, because of Holland, I was 19 and you can play a lot. That’s the positive side of Holland. Then, in Madrid, it’s hard, it’s really professional, it’s more men football and I really learned to defend good. So, with the football from Ajax and the defending from Atletico, it was the right step.”
Perhaps the home pitch can be a respite for Villa, but Saints represent a good, healthy team humming along at a good pace. Handling Graziano Pelle is a tough task made tougher by injuries to Ron Vlaar, Nathan Baker and Philippe Senderos. Give the spoils to the road team, as Lambert’s 100th PL match for Villa ends poorly. 3-1 Southampton.