After losing their last four in a row, Aston Villa are now exactly where they most didn’t want to be: back in the relegation battle. Will they manage a result against a Southampton side arriving at Villa Park with nothing to play for? (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET online via Live Extra).
The Saints have lost their last two, but that matters little. They’re safe, in eighth with 48 points, but are twelve points back of the last Europa League spot. At this point, it’s simply time to experiment with next season in mind – but with Mauricio Pochettino possibly on his way out, is there even much point?
Villa must look to take advantage of Southampton’s possible complacency. After notching exactly zero points in the last month, the hosts are down in fourteenth, just four points above the relegation zone. Now, fans are making their displeasure with Paul Lambert known, and the manager knows his side must put on a convincing home display if he doesn’t want to be shown the door come the end of the season.
After using a 5-3-2 / 3-5-2 in the loss to Crystal Palace last weekend, Paul Lambert moves to what looks to be a 4-4-2 for this match. Grant Holt, who looked rather disappointing up top last time, gives way for Andi Weimann to pair with Gabby Agbonlahor, while Marc Albrighton comes in to give some pace out wide.
The visitors make four changes to the side that lost to Cardiff last time out. Artur Boruc, Nathaniel Clyne, James Ward-Prowse and Victor Wanyama all get the nod – with Boruc’s return possibly the most significant.
Aston Villa: Guzan, Bacuna, Vlaar, Baker, Bertrand, Albrighton, Westwood, Delph, El Ahmadi, Agbonlahor, Weimann
Subs: Steer, Sylla, Tonev, Lowton, Clark, Holt, Robinson
Southampton: Boruc, Clyne, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw, Ward-Prowse, Schneiderlin, Steven Davis, Wanyama, Lallana, Lambert
Subs: Cork, Do Prado, Chambers, Gazzaniga, Hooiveld, Reed, Gallagher