Philippe Senderos

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Dynamo sign veteran European defender Philippe Senderos

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The Houston Dynamo have certainly exceeded expectations in 2017, and the Western Conference side doesn’t plan on relinquishing its new-found power.

[ MORE: Carli Lloyd talks time at Man City, USWNT status and more ]

On Monday, the club announced the signing of veteran Swiss defender Philippe Senderos, who most recently appeared for Scottish side Rangers in 2016/17.

The terms of the deal for the 32-year-old were not released at the time of the club’s announcement.

Senderos made a name for himself in Europe, spending time with major English clubs like Arsenal and Fulham, while also spending brief stints at AC Milan and Valencia.

Despite the Dynamo’s current standing in the West — second place — the club has conceded the sixth-most goals in the conference (32).

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Tim Sherwood looking to cut down Aston Villa’s roster

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With the end of the transfer window quickly approaching on September 1, Tim Sherwood is looking to trim down his roster.

The Birmingham Mail is reporting that Philippe Senderos, Charles N’Zogbia and Kieran Richardson could all move on from Villa Park in the upcoming days. Aleksander Tonev is also on his way out, as he was not given a squad number after returning from a loan spell at Celtic last season.

[ MORE: Latest transfer news ]

In the article, Sherwood was quoted saying “There are still some players here who know they can find other clubs,” which shows he has already determined who he has in the plans for Villa’s Premier League campaign.

The Villans opened the season with a win away at Bournemouth, before losing to Manchester United in their second fixture.

However, Sherwood has been without some key youngsters in his team as Jack Grealish, Adama Traore and Carles Gil all played for the U-21 side over the weekend as they recover from injuries. Sherwood said Grealish could be fit to face Crystal Palace this weekend, while the other two are not quite ready for first-team action.

Villa has made some good summer signings, as Rudy Gestede scored the game-winner in his debut, while Jordan Amavi and Idrisse Gueye have both been impressive early in the season. If Sherwood is able to sell some of the players he deems excess talent, there could be another new face coming to Villa Park before the transfer window closes.

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Premier League Preview: Aston Villa vs. Chelsea

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  • Aston Villa upset Chelsea at Villa Park, 1-0, in March of last season as the Blues’ title chase fell just short. 
  • Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has never won a Premier League game at Villa Park (0-3-2 all-time).
  • Diego Costa (17 league goals) has outscored the entire Aston Villa (11) team in PL play this season, but is suspended.

Chelsea currently sit atop the Premier League table, while Aston Villa find themselves in 16th as another nightmare season wears on ahead of Saturday’s meeting at Villa Park (Watch live on NBCSN and online via Live Extra, 9:45 am ET).

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

As Chelsea chase yet another Premier League title, Aston Villa find themselves once again floundering in the mid- to late-teens of the Premier League table, just three points clear of relegation. Three points for either side on Saturday will go a long way toward making — or saving — someone’s season.

The two sides met at Stamford Bridge back in September as Chelsea scored a comfortable 3-0 victory on the back of goals by their three Brazilian (one turned-Spaniard) stars Oscar, Diego Costa and Willian. Aston Villa registered just a single shot on goal in that game after holding just 37 percent of possession.

While no single player has scored more than three league goals for Aston Villa (Andreas Weimann and Gabriel Agbonlahor), three Chelsea players are nearing double digits in goals scored, led by Costa’s 17 — which again, bears repeating, is six more than the entire Aston Villa team have scored this season (fewest in the Premier League after 23 games).

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar could return from a knee injury, as could Joe Cole (hamstring), while Philippe Senderos (calf) is likely out once again.

Meanwhile, Chelsea could reportedly be without midfield maestro Cesc Fabregas (hamstring) who also missed last weekend’s top of the table clash with Manchester City. Fabregas suffered the injury days earlier in Chelsea’s Capital One Cup semifinal second leg victory over Liverpool.

What they’re saying

Paul Lambert, on forward Christian Benteke’s struggles — “He’s not stupid and he knows he’s had a dip in form. This will make him stronger and he’s having a slump that all strikers have. If he can get back to what he was, he’s unplayable when he’s bang on his game. Will I take him out the firing line? We’ll make a decision before Saturday but there are options.”

Jose Mourinho, on how many teams are in the title race — “That’s not my problem. We are one side. Its for the others to decide if they are title contenders. We see ourselves as title contenders.”

Prediction

It’s tough to see any side with 11 goals scored in 23 games putting even one goal past this Chelsea defense — let alone two or three, which is what they’ll almost certainly need. Another routine away victory for Mourinho’s men. Aston Villa 0-2 Chelsea.

Watch live: Aston Villa vs. Southampton (Lineups and Live Stream)

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Aston Villa looks to end a long winless streak against a Southampton side that doesn’t lose that often (Watch live at 3pm ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).

Ron Vlaar is unable to play for Aston Villa, nor are fellow back liners Nathan Baker and Philippe Senderos. Morgan Schneiderlin is in for Southampton.

The second-placed Saints need a win to keep pace with a Chelsea team threatening to run away with the Premier League. The deficit currently stands at 7 points.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

Villa is just a point above the drop zone after starting the season with three wins and a draw. The club has dropped five-straight matches before a draw with West Ham prior to the international break.

WATCH LIVE AT 3PM ET ON NBCSN AND ONLINE VIA LIVE EXTRA

Lineups

Aston Villa: Guzan, Hutton, Okore, Clark, Cissokho, Sanchez, Westwood, Cleverley, Weimann, N’Zogbia, Agbonlahor

Subs: Given, Bacuna, Cole, Richardson, Bent, Lowton, Grealish

Southampton: Forster; Clyne, Fonte, Alderweireld, Bertrand, Schneiderlin, Wanyama, Tadic, Mane, Long, Pelle

Subs: K. Davis, Yoshida, Gardos, Cork, Mayuka, Reed, Targett

Premier League Preview: Aston Villa vs. Southampton

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  • 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.

WATCH AT 3PM ET MONDAY ON NBCSN AND ONLINE VIA LIVE EXTRA

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.”

Prediction

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.