After suffering a disappointing 3-2 defeat to Burnley last time out, Aston Villa will be hoping to get back to winning ways when they travel to St Mary’s to take on Southampton.
Dean Smith’s side will want to pick up some momentum as soon as possible as they search for a surprise European place this season, and face a Southampton side who are coming off the back of a timid loss of their own, losing 3-1 to Arsenal.
But whilst the Saints will look to Danny Ings for inspiration – the England international has been in fine form once again this season with seven goals in 14 Premier League games – Villa should be just as wary about Stuart Armstrong.
The Scotland international has looked in impressive form in recent weeks, and capped off a fine individual performance against Arsenal with a well-taken goal after a James Ward-Prowse corner.
His former boss at Celtic, Brendan Rodgers, raved about Armstrong’s abilities when the versatile ace made the move south of the border to join Southampton.
He said: “What sets him apart from a lot of midfield players is he has an instinct to arrive in the box and score. I think with that opportunity, with him being really aggressive, he can go and hopefully take that because we all know he can get goals.”
The £50k-a-week ace will no doubt fancy his chances of causing Matty Cash some problems down the Southampton left, after really making life difficult for Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin, who’s one of the quickest players in the Premier League.
And when you factor in the fact Cash arguably produced his worst performance in a Villa shirt since his summer arrival from Nottingham Forest against Burnley, Smith will surely be worried that the Saints’ in-form winger could cause his full-back yet more problems.
So whilst Ings might be Southampton’s star attraction, Villa must pay close attention to Armstrong on Saturday night.