Aston Villa travel to the south coast to take on Southampton in the Premier League this weekend.
Both sides will be peering nervously over their shoulder as the relegation battle intensifies.
In the reverse fixture at Villa Park, Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side were deserved winners, with striker Danny Ings netting a double as the Saints claimed a 3-1 victory.
However, their form at St Mary’s Stadium hasn’t been the best. They have nine league wins this season but only three of them have come at home, which suggests that the three points are there for the taking for Dean Smith’s men.
Both sides come into the match on the back of defeats, with Villa losing out to Tottenham Hotspur, whilst Southampton fell to a loss against Sean Dyche’s Burnley.
Villa will need to ensure they do a few things correctly to bounce back from that defeat.
Below, we’ve mentioned five of those things that we believe could be crucial to helping Villa to a victory.
Keep Danny Ings quiet
Ings is in sensational form this season. The Englishman has 15 goals in the league and has already punished Villa this season – that can’t happen again. Limit the space and time that Ings gets and the hosts could be less threatening.
At this stage of the season, Villa need to be clinical. When they were 1-0 up against Spurs, Villa had several opportunities to make it 2-0, but failed to take them and ultimately paid the price for that. That can’t happen again.
Give Samatta service
Samatta has shown brilliant movement and work rate in his two league matches, but he needs adequate service to show his goalscoring ability. He was a pretty isolated figure against Spurs with just 32 touches in 82 minutes. He needs to be more involved against the Saints.
Frustrate the home crowd
As mentioned earlier, Southampton don’t have the best home form, so frustrating the crowd would be perfect for Villa. The best way to do this is to avoid conceding early because the home faithful will begin to get anxious like they did in the loss to Burnley.
Avoid individual errors
This is a key one. I’m sure nobody wants to be reminded, but Bjorn Engels’ errors cost Villa dearly against Spurs and that simply can’t happen again. Everyone needs to be fully focused and confident for this trip to the south coast.