Weblog: The football punter

Villa's anniversary bash not likely to end well

I would usually much rather support a villain rather than a saint - give me the Joker over Batman any day of the week - but I can’t see past an away win when Aston Villa host Southampton on Monday.

The game marks Villa’s 140-year anniversary but never mind all the history of Spinksy, Birchy and Alan McInally the former European champions are in a fine mess.

One point from the last seven matches and one goal scored isn’t exactly the sort of form to get the locals into the party spirit.

Bad-boy Christian Benteke is suspended, skipper Ron Vlaar is set to miss out through injury and you know things are really bad when Philippe Senderos’s absence is seen as a blow.

Still, at least Alan Hutton returns and there’s always the bench to find some inspiration from Joe Cole, Kieran Richardson and Darren Bent.

There can’t have been many times over the last 140 years that Southampton have gone off odds-on to win away at Villa but it’s fully deserved.

Saints are second in the table, scoring loads of goals, conceding virtually no goals and I really like the look of wide boys Dusan Tadic and Sadio Mane.

As Jessie J said it’s all about the Mane, Mane, Mane...

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Match in Focus

20:00 TODAY SS1

Aston Villa v Southampton

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Aston Villa have scored just five goals in 11 league games
Expert verdict
Aston Villa’s run of six straight defeats ended with the 0-0 draw against West Ham, but that result means they’ve still scored just once in seven outings. Meanwhile, Southampton show no signs of slowing down after a fast start. Saints have won eight of their last nine league games and haven’t conceded in their last four.