Fresh from their 1-1 draw with Everton, a result which manager Ronald Koeman thought was a disappointment, the Saints need to beat Villa to keep alive their hopes of finishing in a record position.
Having now dropped to eighth in the Premier League table the South coast club are looking unlikely to snatch a top four spot as they are now ten points behind Manchester City in fourth.
Koeman wants Saints to be ruthless
Manager Koeman has urged his side to be more ruthless in front of goal and will be expecting a convincing win over Villa on Saturday.
The Dutchman said: “We need productivity. We need to improve our final part, in attacking wise.”
The home side on Saturday have endured a catastrophic season which has seen them relegated already. After sacking Tim Sherwood and then Remi Garde the club have leapt from one disaster to another and are now preparing for life in the Championship.
Villa have just pride to play for and will need to put on a performance this weekend if they are to salvage even a minor shed of credibility from the disastrous campaign.
Koeman has a strong squad to choose from this weekend as they look to take all three points. The Saints boss revealed Jose Fonte and Victor Wanyama will be fit, and the one player to miss out will be Charlie Austin through injury.
Gabriel Agbonlahor will be missing from the Villa squad after he was suspended by the club for his off the field antics. Jose Okore’s disagreement with caretaker manager Eric Black means he will not feature for the rest of the season, and Kieran Richardson and Ciaran Clark are doubts through injury.
The last time the two sides met the Saints were enduring their season slump which saw them drop points against opponents they would usually expect to beat.
When Villa travelled to St Mary’s in December they left with a hard earned 1-1 draw as Saints midfielder Oriol Romeu rescued a point for the home side in the 73rd minute, after Joleon Lescott had put his side 1-0 up just before half time.
The Saints haven’t been beaten by Villa in their last five meetings with the south coast side wining two of the five encounters and drawing the other three.