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Southampton at Villa Park and match facts from the BBC

I've long written that football is about winning games, that I don't really care how we win and I'd take a boring 1-0 every week as long as it meant winning. Naturally, I want to see us win by three or four every match, playing flowing football and making the opposition look lost. But I'll take the win however we get it.

And that was why I didn't really mind playing in the Championship. We won more than we were used to winning and as you now know, if you didn't already, football is about winning.


And if you play boring boring football but you win more than you lose or draw, the chances are you're going to be consistent and when you bring consistency into football, you start to win silverware and silverware is the ultimate aim of football.

And I write this because today we need to win. If we don't win, after two wins, two draws and two defeats in the last six matches, we are starting to be consistently not good and the win last time out was just fortune. If you want consistency in football and by that I mean consistently winning, the one thing you don't want is the fortunate win.

Fortunate wins happen when the team you are playing have an off day or they themselves are in a bad run. These are not good and they mask what is really happening. Today, we need to prove the Brighton result wasn't just fortune and that something rubbed off and the players really won the game because of what they did.

I'll be back later and I think I might play the lottery today.

Match facts from the BBC

Head-to-head

  • Aston Villa won only one of the past 11 meetings in all competitions.
  • Southampton are unbeaten in their last six Premier League away games at Villa, winning four and drawing two.

Aston Villa

  • Villa are aiming for successive Premier League wins for the first time since Steven Gerrard's first two matches in charge in November.
  • They have only won three of their past 10 league fixtures under Gerrard, as many as in their opening four after his arrival.
  • Aston Villa are winless in four home league games (D2, L2).
  • Danny Ings scored 41 goals in 91 Premier League appearances for Southampton between 2018-21.

Southampton

  • Southampton can win three consecutive Premier League matches for only the second time since 2016-17, and first since October to November 2020.
  • Their only defeat in 10 league games came at Wolves on 15 January (W5, D4).
  • Only the current top four have lost fewer Premier League fixtures than Southampton's seven this season.
  • The Saints can keep three successive league clean sheets for the second time under Ralph Hasenhüttl, after December 2020 to January 2021.
  • Che Adams has scored four goals in his last five Premier League away starts.