21 December 2019 live
Conceding exactly two goals in three of their last four halves of league action, Aston Villa are slumping at exactly the wrong time. They approach this crucial clash after three straight Premier League (PL) defeats that each saw them lose the second half ‘to-nil’, and score only within the ten minutes prior to half-time.
Since the start of October, Villa have alternated PL home wins with defeats (W2, L2), with all of those games seeing one half produce precisely two goals either way, while the last three of those games saw the victor win one half precisely by a 2-0 scoreline.
Southampton will arrive in Aston with a dismal ten-game PL record of: W2, D2, L6. Eight of those outings produced over 2.5 goals, while five of those defeats saw them concede at least once in the 75th minute or later.
Frustratingly, Southampton have scored first in each of their last four PL away fixtures, but taken just two points out of a possible 12 thereafter. Southampton will likely get late chances up front regardless, with three of their last four PL away games seeing both teams score in the second half.
Players to watch: Jack Grealish has seen three of his last four goals arrive within the five minutes either side of half-time.
Accounting for four of Southampton’s last six PL away goals, Danny Ings has been first scorer in three of the Saints’ last four PL away games.
Stat attack: Goal-opening teams have won just 40% of Villa’s last five PL home games.
Going back to August 1992, ‘PL-era’ Villa squads have kept 15 of a possible 17 first-half clean sheets in league H2Hs at Villa Park.
Southampton have avoided defeat in 50% of PL away matches entered as betting outsiders this campaign.
What time is kick off?
The match begins at 16:00.