Will Southampton’s sudden winning streak continue?
Last weekend, the Saints, finally, ended their six-game losing streak in the Premier League, coming from behind to beat Everton 2-1 at Goodison.
James Ward-Prowse scoring both in the second half, including a trademark free-kick that sparked wild celebrations in the away section.
Before this, Nathan Jones’ side had beaten Crystal Palace in the FA Cup and, against all odds, Manchester City in the Carabao Cup.
Of course, progression in cup competitions is great, but what Southampton really need is Premier League points, as they remain at the foot of the table, albeit just one point from safety.
Aston Villa meantime start the weekend 11th, seeking to remain clear of the relegation dog-fight.
The Claret and Blue Army were last in action on Friday night, battling to beat Leeds United at Villa Park.
Leon Bailey curled home an opener just three minutes in before Emi Buendía nodded home, what turned out to be, the crucial clincher.
This means Unai Emery’s team remain unbeaten in the league in 2023, beating Spurs on New Year’s Day before a draw with Wolves.
Can Villa win three consecutive Premier League away games for the first time since November 2020, last doing so with fans present in April 2010 under Martin O’Neill?
Southampton team news
Nathan Jones has tinkered heavily since arriving at Southampton, constantly changing players and formations.
20 year old midfielder Carlos Alcaraz made his debut off the bench at Goodison, and is unlikely to start just yet.
At the back, with Armel Bella-Kotchap injured, Duje Ćaleta-Car will continue to partner Mohammed Salisu.
In attack, Mislav Oršić could make his Premier League debut, having arrived from GNK Dinamo Zagreb.
Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Bazunu; Lyanco, Ćaleta-Car, Salisu, Walker-Peters; Lavia, Diallo, Ward-Prowse; Oršić, Edozie, Adams.
Aston Villa team news
Lucas Digne hobbled off against Leeds, so Álex Moreno, who’s just arrived from Real Betis, will make his full-Premier League debut.
The Frenchman joins Diego Carlos and John McGinn in the treatment room.
Up front, it’s been all change at Villa this week, with Danny Ings joining West Ham, while Jhon Durán has arrived from Chicago Fire.
Either-way, Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins have been Unai Emery’s preferred partnership, and will continue to be so.
At right-back, fit again Matty Cash could return in place of Ashley Young.
Predicted XI (4-4-2): Martínez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Moreno; Douglas Luiz, Kamara, Buendía, Ramsey; Bailey, Watkins.