Bidding villains to build on City draw

Aston Villa will be bidding to build on their draw with Manchester City, last time they welcomed Southampton to Villa Park in the Premier League on Friday night.

Steven Gerrard’s side held the champions in their final league game on September 3, while Southampton enter this game after a 1-0 loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers on the same day.

There’s no escaping the fact that it’s been a tough start to the campaign for Villa, who took just four points from their six games, leaving them 17th in the table.

Gerrard’s side lost in Bournemouth on the opening weekend of the season before taking a 2-1 win over Everton a week later, but then lost their next three to Crystal Palace, West Ham United and Arsenal.

Villa stared at a fourth consecutive Premier League defeat earlier this month as Erling Braut Haaland put the champions ahead at Villa Park, but Leon Bailey managed to tie the scores in the 74th minute, and the hosts held on to a welcome point. in the midst of a difficult spell.

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The home side should have faced Leicester City in the league last weekend, but the game was postponed as a show of respect following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

This match has been given the green light to continue and Villa can draw confidence from the match between the two sides last season, which ended in a 4-0 victory for Gerrard’s side.

Southampton, meanwhile, have made an encouraging start to the campaign, taking seven points from six matches, putting them in 12th place in the league table for this match.

The Saints started their season with a 4-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur before amassing four points from their next two games, drawing with Leeds United and beating Leicester.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side then lost 1-0 to Manchester United at home, before beating Chelsea three days later; however, they will enter this game after a 1-0 defeat to Wolves at Molineux.

Southampton have only won once in their travels in the Premier League since early February, indicative of the magnitude of their role in this match, but they have a recent away success against Villa to their credit, with a 4-3 win at Villa Park in November 2020.

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There was just one spot and five points between Villa (14th) and Southampton (15th) in the Premier League table last season, and it wouldn’t come as a shock to see them close together in the division again this season.

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