Southampton host Aston Villa in the Premier League this weekend, one week before the visitors compete in the EFL Cup final at Wembley Stadium.
The Villans start the weekend directly above the relegation zone and one point above West Ham United, whilst Southampton are six points better off.
Ralph Hasenhuttl must see this game as an opportunity to pull further away from the relegation and close in on safety. The Austrian coach is a very good tactician whilst his opposite number, Dean Smith, is really struggling in his first Premier League season.
What’s more, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Aston Villa players will have Wembley and the cup final on the mind. That meaning they won’t want to be injured or sent off. Not giving 100% in this game would only lead to a Southampton win.
I think Southampton are the better team anyway, although they were beaten at home by Burnley last weekend, which I wasn’t expecting.
Tyrone Mings was absent for Villa last weekend. If the England international misses this one then I don’t even give them a prayer. Going forward, the West Midlands club are heavily reliant on Jack Grealish and Anwar El Ghazi. Expect Hasenhuttl to have a gameplan to nullify Grealish’s game and potentially the Dutch international too.
Danny Ings is still scoring for the Saints and is being helped out by his teammates now – Stuart Armstrong, Nathan Redmond and Shane Long are chipping in too. They will have too much for Aston Villa on Saturday and the bookmakers agree.
Best bet: Southampton to win is 1.77 with Betfair