It has long seemed to be the case that English managers are an endangered species in the Premier League, but Saturday could see one come to another’s aid at St Mary’s.
Garry Monk’s Swansea may not be playing Manchester City until Sunday, but they could have been done a substantial favour in their pursuit of Europa League football before then if Aston Villa, managed by Tim Sherwood, can down Southampton.
The Swans remain 39/20 outsiders in a league-finish match bet with the Saints, despite sitting a mere point behind them in eighth.
Of course Sherwood has more than helping a compatriot in need for motivation on the south coast, with his side able to assure Premier League safety with victory.
Southampton are 39/50 favourites for three points, with the draw a 5/2 shot, but the 7/2 available about a Villans away win looks more than plausible.
Even in the lean times that have engulfed the second-city side over the past two campaigns they’ve routinely short-shrifted the St Mary’s outfit.
Last season they pulled off an audacious 3-2 heist on Southampton turf, while they’ve twice held Ronald Koeman’s men at Villa Park since.
The Saints seem to be affecting a limp towards the end of the season in a bid to shirk Europa League duty, losing three of their last four games and conceding twice in each and every one.
All three losses came away from home, but the draw they achieved in the St Mary’s outlier was also the last game they played with Morgan Schneiderlin before the influential midfielder succumbed to injury.
Without him and man-mountain stopper Fraser Forster they are far less resistant to counter-attacking of the type that has kept Villa’s heads above water in recent seasons, while their huff and puff attack should play straight into the visitors’ hands.
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