Steven Gerrard is still feeling the pressure, though Aston Villa managed to steady the ship when they earned a surprise draw against Manchester City in their last assignment. Ralph Hasenhüttl’s youthful Southampton will pose a different sort of challenge at Villa Park, however, where the Saints have won on two of their last three visits.
Below, you can find a collection of statistics ahead of Friday evening’s tussle containing info on shots, xG, cards, corners and more. Hopefully, you can extract enough useful titbits to power your Premier League bet builders this week.
Steven Gerrard made some big calls before Villa’s draw 1-1 with Manchester City when he dropped Philippe Coutinho, Emiliano Buendia and Danny Ings to the bench, though his decisions were vindicated by the result.
Against Southampton, Gerrard could stick with the 4-3-2-1 shape and same personnel that earned the Villains a share of the spoils against City.
Young defensive duo Mohamed Salisu and Armel Bella-Kotchap have been turning heads at centre-half this season as has holding midfielder Romeo Lavia, however, the ex-Man City academy starlet is injured and will miss Friday’s game.
Che Adams will play furthest forward for the Saints with Mohamed El Younoussi given licence to roam behind the Scottish international.
Aston Villa have been notching just 0.83 goals per 90 minutes this season and only four clubs have scored fewer goals than the toothless Villains overall (5).
Steven Gerrard just can’t seem to develop a reliable attacking blueprint this term, as evidenced by Villa’s poor xG (0.96) and shots on target for (2.83) figures p/90 for the campaign.
Southampton have posted deficits in just about every statistical department this season and they’ve been conceding more goals (1.67) shots on target (3.83) and corners (4.67) per 90 than they’ve managed at the right end.
However, their performances have been more competitive than those numbers would suggest for the most part and each of their last two defeats were by single-goal margins.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
Emiliano Buendia (1.10), Danny Ings (1.07) and Phillipe Coutinho (1.02) fill positions one through three for shots on target p/90 this season for Villa, however, they’ve managed to notch just twice between them and their poor conversation rates have earned them all a demotion to the bench.
Ollie Watkins should shoulder more responsibility in the final third on Friday in the aforementioned trio’s absence. The 26-year-old is hitting just 1.33 shots p/90 this season, though he was averaging double that last term.
Che Adams (2.30 shots p/90) is Southampton’s main man in attack, though there is hope that 20-year-old summer signing Sekou Mara (5.35) can develop into a genuine challenger for Adam’s position.
Mohamed Elyounoussi (2.02) can be a threatening figure from deeper positions, however, so far his efforts have been in vain and he is yet to break his duck for the campaign.
Player Goals and Assists
Ollie Watkins has been the architect behind three Villa goals this term (1G, 2A), while Leon Bailly’s single goal and assist are a poor representation of the good overall impact he has made.
Philippe Coutinho is been unusually feeble since the start of the campaign and the Brazilian still hasn’t collected his first goal or assist in the Premier League.
Southampton’s seven Premier League goals this season have been shared by six different contributors, though Che Adams is the only player to have scored more than once. The 26-year-old notched both efforts in one game against Leicester, however.
The Saints also have six different assist providers in their ranks. Skipper James Ward-Prowse has one, though the midfielder, who provided 15 goal contributions in 2021/22, would have expected more by now.
Aston Villa Cards
The 2022/23 campaign has been one of major frustration for Aston Villa so far and their card count of 2.5 per 90 aligns with their dissatisfaction.
John McGinn (2.08 fouls & 2 cards p/90) is worth following when the going gets tough in midfield, while fullback Lucas Digne (1.67 & 2) has a reckless streak when outstripped for pace.
Boubacar Kamara has been clocking up big foul numbers (3.28 per 90), though the Frenchman, who committed five fouls in his last two appearances against Arsenal and Man City, has somehow been avoiding the officials’ gaze.
Lively winger Moussa Djenepo is Southampton’s most avid dribbler (3.49 p/90) and the Malian has regularly had his ankles clipped as a consequence (fouled 2.56 p/90).
Watch out for John McGinn when he joins fullback Ashley Young to double up on Djenepo on Friday. Romain Perraud (fouled 1.67 times per 90) could also feel McGinn’s wrath when he supports Djenepo down the left flank.
Elsewhere, Che Adams (1.59) might feel Boubacar Kamara breathing down his neck when the Scot drops into midfield to link play.
Match-Ups to watch
John McGinn vs Moussa Djenepo
Boubacar Kamara vs Che Adams
John McGinn vs Romain Perraud
Norwegian Mohamed Elyounoussi (2.25 fouls p/90) should have some tracking work to handle against Lucas Digne when the Saints’ schemer swaps positions with Joe Aribo during Friday’s game.
Mohamed Salisu (2 cards) likes to defend on the front foot, though his eagerness to win the ball early often results in awkward challenges. James Ward-Prowse (1.67 fouls) is never shy about getting stuck in, so expect some heavy tackles from the 27-year-old against his Villa counterparts in midfield.
The numbers show that Lucas Digne’s forays forward from his starting berth at left back are often halted unceremoniously (fouled 1.83 times p/90), though it’s in midfield where Villa receive the majority of their knocks.
John McGinn (1.70), Jacob Ramsey (1.67) and Boubacar Kamara (1.55) all dish out punishment, though they receive plenty back in return. Tune into McGinn and Kamara’s tussle with Ward-Prowse as well as Ramsey’s altercations with Salisu when he breaks forward. Salisu picked up one of his eight Premier League bookings last term in an appearance against Villa.
Match-Ups to watch
Mohamed Elyounoussi vs Lucas Digne
James Ward-Prowse vs John McGinn
Mohamed Salisu vs Jacob Ramsey
That’s the only stats pack for today, but let’s hope we can still get some winners. If you’re using it for a bet, please gamble responsibly – keep the stakes low and if you weren’t planning a bet today don’t feel like you have to.