- Match kicks off at 8pm GMT – Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event
33 mins – Southampton 0 Aston Villa 0
It’s all got a bit… sticky in the middle of the park. Villa looking a bit more assured, Southampton finding it a little more difficult. Diallo in and out by Mings. Villa still under pressure here.
30 mins – Southampton 0 Aston Villa 0
Romeu shifts it out to Armstrong on the left, he lays it off to Bertrand coming in on the edge of the box. It’s a side-foot off his left boot but it’s the wrong side of the near post and into the side-netting.
28 mins – Southampton 0 Aston Villa 0
Villa with a bit more of the ball now, but still struggling to find any openings or windows of opportunity. Southampton working play well through Armstrong on the left. He cuts in and tries to find Ward-Prowse over the top but it’s over-hit and into the hands of Martinez in goal.
26 mins – Southampton 0 Aston Villa 0
Armstrong marches to the byline on the left, sends in a cross with Martinez cuts out at his near post. Grealish fouled by Armstrong in the centre circle, jut as he tries to direct a Villa counter. Villa definitely being edged out in the opening 25 minutes.
23 mins – Southampton 0 Aston Villa 0
Bit of danger for Villa as Mings chases a loose pass in his own half. He gets there in the end, stopping Walcott from breaking through. It was a bit desperate as it has been a couple of times for the visitors at the back.
21 mins – Southampton 0 Aston Villa 0
Bertrand with a good corner for Southampton, Ings nods on bug McGinn clears. Southampton just shading this at the moment but Villa looking far from impotent, though with just one shot to Southampton’s four.
19 mins – Southampton 0 Aston Villa 0
A bit on that earlier penalty claim. Flicked off his leg, they say. Fair enough. Bit late now. Whatever.
17 mins – Southampton 0 Aston Villa 0
Enjoyable game so far. Southampton break again – Armstrong finding Redmond on the left of the box with a perfectly weighted through ball. Villa clear their lines… rather desperately. They start a counter themselves. Intent from both sides here, who need three points to get their top-six hopes going again.
14 mins – Southampton 0 Aston Villa 0
Villa under a sustained period of pressure now. They weather it, just about, but with plenty of bodies in the way and blocked shots. Ings looking influential. Grealish turns provider at the other end of the pitch, floating a cross in from the left but it’s well over the head of Watkins and nobody is coming in at the far post.
11 mins – Southampton 0 Aston Villa 0
Looking at it again, I think Cash moved his body and his arm is obviously attached to his body so it has to go in the same direction. Didn’t look like he moved his arm independently. Anyway, Grealish stands over a free kick 40 yards out of the Southampton box. He finds Konsa on the left edge of the box but his header is softly into the six yard box for the keeper to claim.
9 mins – Southampton 0 Aston Villa 0
First big chance of the game, this time for Southampton. Ings in there, lays it off for Armstrong who shoots, it’s deflected behind… Var checking for handball from Matty Cash on that shot. It looks like it could be a handball from here but is it? Var says no. Sky commentators were getting very excited about it.
6 mins – Southampton 0 Aston Villa 0
Barkley finds Watkins on the left of the box, he gets a bit of space and shoots with his left. Drags it down across the face of the goal and never looked likely. Decent build-up from Villa.
5 mins – Southampton 0 Aston Villa 0
Villa starting slightly the brighter of the two. Watkins and Cash on the right but Cash’s cross is poor. Villa come again with Traore and Grealish. Patient play so far.
3 mins – Southampton 0 Aston Villa 0
Grealish fouled by Diallo. Don’t think it’ll be the last foul he receives in this game…
We’re nearly ready
Hard to call this one. I think Villa will edge it. Were good against Burnley but lost with a couple of weird goals. Should have been out of sight at half-time but they were not.
Sanson on the bench for Villa
He signed from Marseille after five seasons, 157 appearances and 25 goals. Has 11 appearances for France U21s, too. He’s a fair few years away from being eligible to play for them, however.
One for the stats fans
This week’s Football Nerd looks at the most “entertaining” sides in the Premier League this season, by Expected Goals (xG), a bit like chances created. Leeds, Liverpool and Man United are on the top four, but Aston Villa sneak into the top two too, with a total of 2.99xG per game.
Who is at the bottom? Southampton… which may surprise some.
Dean Smith upbeat about Villa despite downturn in results
Dean Smith refuses to be downbeat as inconsistent Aston Villa look to recover their form. They head to St Mary’s today after letting the lead slip twice to lose 3-2 at Burnley.
Villa were leading 2-1 with 15 minutes left on Wednesday before quickfire goals from Dwight McNeil and Chris Wood won the game for the the home side.
Villa are 10th in the Premier League after one win in five games but Smith remains positive despite their indifferent run.
“We’re closer to the top four than the bottom four. We’ve added quality and started the season well. We’re still disappointed with results that have gone against us,” said the Villa manager.
“We stayed up last season with the run that we had, then we’ve added quality and I think we’ve started the season well.
“We’re disappointed with some of the games we’ve been beaten in. We’ve had some referee’s decisions that have gone against us – Manchester City, Manchester United, West Ham and Brighton to name four of them.
“We haven’t had an awful lot go with us in that department but we’re comfortable with how we’re playing and how we’ve attacked a lot of the games.
“It’s been rare that I’ve walked away from a game and thought ‘we haven’t competed today’.”
Villa go to St Mary’s after the defeat at Turf Moor with Smith still rueing the dropped points.
He told a press conference: “It felt like we threw three points away – that was my emotion after the game. You come back, you reflect, you review the game, and we were very good in the game and we deserved to win the game.
“I’d have been disappointed coming away with a point. Sometimes you have games like that, where you’re so much better than the opposition for large periods.
“We didn’t take the game away from them as well as we should have. As I said, it could have been 3-0 at half-time and probably should have been.
“My biggest disappointment was the goal we conceded from the corner. We have to defend that better and I spoke to the players about that.”
By Nick Mashiter, PA