Aston Villa - Southampton Preview: Now relegated Villans aim to dent Saints' European ambitions

Aston Villa are down and out, but still could play a part in what happens elsewhere in the table.

Aston Villa - Southampton Preview: Now relegated Villans aim to dent Saints' European ambitions
(photo: Daily Echo)

Aston Villa host Southampton in a 3PM kick-off on Saturday, in the club's first match since being officially relegated from the Barclays Premier League.

Sitting bottom of the table on 16 points with four games to go, there are only 12 more to be won, meaning Villa can't catch 17th placed Norwich City, who are on 31 points.

All there is to play for now is pride, something that the fans have been crying out for all season. 


It's no surprise to hear that Villa are in terrible form, given that they're now relegated. Still, you wouldn't anticipate it to be this bad.

Aston Villa have lost nine league games on the bounce.

They've conceded a miserable 25 goals in those nine games, scoring just three. It's not shown signs of getting any better recently, either. 

Villa lost 0-4 at home to Chelsea at the start of this month, on a day where much of the remaining believers gave up hope that their beloved club could surivive. It was a similar story one week later, the managerless team slumping to a 1-2 loss against AFC Bournemouth at Villa Park.

They had to win last weekend in order to extend their Premier League status for one more week, and couldn't. Marcus Rashford scored the only goal of the game, Manchester United beating Villa 1-0 at Old Trafford.

Villa concede last week (photo: Getty Images)
Villa concede last week (photo: Getty Images)

Southampton's form is much better, and they've only lost one of their last six league games, winning three and drawing the other two.

Their most recent game was something of a missed opportunity, drawing 1-1 away against an underperforming Everton side. Saido Mane equalised on 76 minutes after Ramiro Funes Mori had opened the scoring just eight minutes prior.

Team news

There's been even more drama at Villa this week, and it reflects in the team news.

Jores Okore is reportedly refusing to play for the first team, according to caretaker manager Eric Black, so he won't feature. Nor will Gabriel Agbonlahor, who is suspended pending an internal investigation into off-field affairs for the second time this season.

Regarding actual injuries, Kieran Richardson and Ciaran Clark are both doubts for the clash. They could join long term absentees such as Jordan Amavi and Libor Kozak on the sidelines.

Southampton have been boosted by the news that Jose Fonte and Victor Wanyama are both fit and available, despite being doubts after the Everton game. Charlie Austin is still injured.