After slipping to one of their most disappointing results of the season against Burnley last time out, Aston Villa will be hoping to get back to winning ways when they travel to the south coast to take on Southampton.
Dean Smith’s side were in front twice against the Clarets in the Premier League clash at Turf Moor, but a late rally from the home side saw them come from behind to win 3-2.
Villa did receive a major boost earlier in the week with the confirmation of Morgan Sanson’s arrival from Ligue 1 giants Marseille, and Smith will surely be tempted to hand him his debut at St Mary’s.
With no other injury concerns either, Smith is likely to go as full strength as possible, and with that in mind, below is a look at how Villa might line up for the game against Southampton on Saturday night.
The back-five is likely to remain unchanged as it pretty much has been all season, with the only real dilemma for the Villa boss coming in central midfield, with new signing Sanson waiting in the wings.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Smith revealed: “Morgan Sanson came in on the Wednesday when we were at Burnley and did a little bit of training with our performance team. He was then training with the lads yesterday.
“He looks in a good place and he’s available for the squad, so he’ll certainly travel down with us.”
With Douglas Luiz having played an incredible amount of football already this season both with Villa and Brazil – he’s started every Premier League game bar one – Smith may feel he could offer the former Manchester City man a rest, and hand Sanson his debut.
Further forward, Trezeguet is pushing for a recall to the starting line-up after making another cameo appearance off the bench against Burnley following a few weeks out with an injury.
That could see the 55-cap Bertrand Traore drop out, with Trezeguet joined alongside by Ross Barkley and Jack Grealish. Ollie Watkins meanwhile will be hoping to make it a third Premier League game in a row in which he has scored.
Predicted XI: Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Sanson, McGinn; Trezeguet, Barkley, Grealish; Watkins.