|Aston Villa 1 v 3 Southampton|
Barclays Premier League
Saturday, 21st December 2019 Kick-off 15:00
Saints At Aston Villa The Preview
Friday, 20th Dec 2019 11:51
Not so much a must win game but one we mustn't lose after two straight defeats have put us in danger of losing touch with those above us.
Ralph Hasenhuttl has to do something different this game to stir things up in his squad after several games unchanged.
The one thing that is constant though is the poor defending and the gifting of goals as was against evidenced in West Ham's winner last weekend, but there is little Ralph can do until January and he and the club have already shown their intent to deal with this in the upcoming window.
But for now he has to persevere and as I have been saying all season it is a case of getting away with it sometimes and this needs to be one of those games.
It looks like we will be without Moussa Djenepo with a hamstring injury and this could be one enforced change and I think there could be one more.
I would make those switches to shore up the midfield, I would bring in Stuart Armstrong for Djenepo and I would consider sacrificing Shane Long up front to bring in Oriol Romeu.
That would allow us to have a solid central trio of Romeu. Hojbjerg and Ward Prowse with Redmond and Armstrong out wide, we need to get a grip of the game in the midfield, stop the opposition running at us and splitting the defence and then look to get Danny Ings involved up front.
We seem to start badly so in this one I think we need to be cautious to start with and then build on it.
These are the only two changes I would make from the starting line up against West Ham and it will leave us options from the bench including Long, Adams and Obafemi should we need to go for goals.
The main thing though is not to lose touch with those above us over the Xmas period, we know what our problem is and to be blunt if we deal with it in January by bringing in a central defender then we will stay up, if we don't then we are in trouble.
So in the next fortnight we need to keep our heads above water and be ready to surge in the New Year with some new faces, we do not want to be playing catch up.
So a game we should go in with confidence aside from our defence, but in the rest of the side we need a few to find their form, Nathan Redmond and Pierre Emile Hojbjerg have been woefully out of form in the past couple of games and owe us a big game, hopefully this will be it.
The festive season sorts out the men from the boys, we need to stand up and be counted on and off the pitch, remember a football team is for life not for Xmas.
Photo: Action Images
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