Mark Lawrenson not favouring Villa
Dean Smith’s side came unstuck in their last domestic encounter as they were comprehensively beaten 3-0 by Leeds United at Villa Park, with Patrick Bamford scoring a hat-trick for the visitors. This ended Villa’s 100% start to the season and prevented them from going top of the league going into last weekend’s fixtures.
Southampton go into this game on a high after beating league leaders and 10-man Everton 2-0 at St Mary’s, with goals from James Ward-Prowse and Che Adams.
Speaking with BBC Sport, Lawrenson waxed lyrical over Ralph Hasenhuttl’s team and believed that they will have the edge over Villa, saying: “This should be a good game but Leeds’ intensity proved a bit too much for Aston Villa last time out, and I think Saints will edge it.” Lawrenson added that he expects the final score to be 2-1 to Southampton.
Tough 90 minutes ahead
Hasenhuttl will not be giving Villa a free pass when the Saints come to town on Sunday but Smith will be aware that the Saints already have three defeats to their name this season.
Jack Grealish has been in stunning form during the current campaign, too, with three goals and three assists from the first five games (Fotmob). His contribution may well be crucial to their success on the day.
Lawrenson makes a valid point about Villa’s last outing but, having already destroyed the current champions, it would be foolish to frivolously write off the Villains.
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