Kick-off: 2000, 16/09/2022
Stadium: Villa Park
TV: Sky Sports
Steven Gerrard will hope Aston Villa’s draw with champions Manchester City last time out can spark their season into life.
Villa had lost four of their first five matches but the 1-1 draw with Pep Guardiola’s men proved what Villa are capable of.
On paper they look to have a stronger team than Friday’s opponents and a home win at 21/20 is our first Aston Villa vs Southampton prediction.
Aston Villa Odds
Villa not only grabbed an unexpected point against Manchester City but could have had all three had the officials not been too hasty to call offside before Philippe Coutinho hit a potential winner.
Gerrard’s position had been coming under growing pressure due to poor results and they were facing another loss after Erling Haaland’s opener early in the second half, with Kevin De Bruyne hitting the bar as City pushed for another.
But Leon Bailey rifled home a superb equaliser in front of the Holte End and Villa secured a much-needed 1-1 draw.
“I think the players stuck at it,” said Gerrard. “I don’t think anyone gave us any hope or a chance before a ball was kicked.
“It was important that inside the dressing room we had belief and courage because you need it against City. You need it in both sides of the game – out of possession and in possession.
“I’m really pleased and proud with what the players have given and I don’t think anyone can be begrudge us that point and it’s a big point.”
Villa should start on the front foot here and we like the hosts to be leading at half-time and full-time at Aston Villa vs Southampton odds.
Last Villa line-up: Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Mings, Digne, Luiz, McGinn, Ramsey, Kamara, Watkins, Bailey.
Ollie Watkins, Emi Martinez and Robin Olsen all face late fitness tests, but Leander Dendoncker is in contention to make his debut after missing the City game with a throat complaint.
Loanee Jan Bednarek is unavailable as he cannot play against his parent club.
Ralph Hasenhuttl is another manager who knows what it is like to be under pressure but seven points from the first six matches mean there is little to suggest Southampton are preparing a managerial change.
The 2-1 victory at home to Chelsea last month was the highlight of the campaign so far but Saints could not build on that as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Wolves last time out.
They were perhaps unfortunate not to have taken something from the trip to Molineux as Che Adams saw a second-half effort ruled out for handball and the striker also hit the crossbar with another header.
Consistency remains an issue for Southampton and they were thrashed 4-0 on their last trip to Villa Park in March.
Each of their last four visits have produced at least four goals and this is a fixture which both teams will believe they can get a positive result from.
With that in mind, both teams to score and over 3.5 goals at 27/2 for correct-score backers.
Last Southampton line-up: Bazunu, Walker-Peters, Perraud, Salisu, Kotchap, Aribo, Ward-Prowse, Elyounoussi, Diallo, Armstrong, Adams.
Southampton could hand a debut to defender Duje Caleta-Car. The Croatia international joined Saints from Marseille on transfer deadline day but was not available at Wolves due to a paperwork issue.
Full-back Tino Livramento (knee) and midfielder Romeo Lavia (hamstring) remain sidelined.
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