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Aston Villa are going to be looking to finish a run of three straight Premier League defeats once they welcome fellow strugglers Southampton on Saturday afternoon.

Both Southampton and Aston Villa have collected 15 points from their 17 league matches this season, although Dean Smith’s side sit one position above the 18th-placed Saints courtesy of a superior goal difference.

Villa booked their spot within the semi-finals of the EFL Cup with a 5-0 convert Liverpool on Tuesday night, although it had been a bizarre match with the Reds having to send largely an Under-23 side onto the sector thanks to their involvement within the Club World Cup in Qatar.

The record books will only show a Villa victory, though, and therefore the performance was still impressive against Liverpool’s talented youngsters. Smith’s team must overcome a difficult run of form within the league, though, with three straight defeats seeing them remain in and round the bottom three.

Four wins and three draws have brought Villa just 15 points, level with Southampton heading into Saturday’s contest. there’s now a three-point gap between Villa in 17th and Everton in 16th, although things isn’t terminal for either side before the clash at Villa Park. Villa haven’t been victorious within the league since overcoming Newcastle United at the top of November.

They did devour some extent at Manchester United on December 1 but have lost their last three to Chelsea, Leicester City and Sheffield United.

The team’s next three are absolutely massive as they’re going to host Southampton and Norwich City before visiting Watford on December 28. A solid return could leave them beyond the relegation zone, but a disappointing run of results is probably going to go away them inside rock bottom three heading into 2020.

Aston Villa expected starting lineup:
Heaton; Guilbert, Engels, Hause, Targett; McGinn, Luiz, Hourihane; Grealish, Wesley, El Ghazi

Southampton expected starting lineup:
McCarthy; Cedric, Stephens, Bendarek, Bertrand; Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Hojbjerg; Redmond, Ings, Djenepo