Aston Villa vs. Southampton Picks & Betting Odds

Lee Phelps

Sunday, November 23, 2014 8:25 PM UTC

Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014 8:25 PM UTC

Aston Villa vs. Southampton puts together a team who don't score and a side who don't concede. Our tipster has been looking at the odds, trying to find the best betting angle with his free picks.

This game pits the league’s worst home offensive record against the best defensive away statistics, to make matters worse for Aston Villa they’re also right down the bottom of the shots conceded on their own goal stats at Villa Park. Southampton aren't the most attacking team on their travels but they do average over 11 shots per game while Villa concede over 14 in front of their own fans.

Villa’s poor form is well documented and they look like they could be without Ron Vlaar and Philippe Senderos for the game. We've spoken before about Villa being suited to the counter-attack away from home, so welcoming the second best team in the division, who are more than happy to let you have possession doesn't look good for Paul Lambert’s men.

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Aston Villa
All managers must wait with baited breath for their players to come back from international duty and some don’t get the news they were hoping for. Lambert is trying to scrape a point here and there to stop this wretched run his team is on: no win in seven and one point from a possible 21.

So the news that both his centre backs have returned injured hasn’t gone down well. It has left Villa with just two fit centre-backs in Ciaran Clark and Jores Okore - who has not played this season after recovering from a cruciate knee ligament injury - for Monday's game.

Lambert said: "That's the one I'm not happy about at all, Philippe. He is the one which has annoyed me the most. He went away with his national team and if you look at his record he has only played six minutes, against West Ham, for a month. He goes away with Switzerland and ends up pulling his calf in a training exercise.

"It's mismanagement from the FA in Switzerland. They should have been in dialogue and seen his record in the first place and that he didn't play for a month.

"It's OK for them to go away and think 'we have only lost a centre half' but we have lost a centre half for a month again, who has been a vital part of the team."


Ronald Keoman spoke about his players looking a little tired in the 2-0 win against Leicester before the international break and the test of their great start is coming soon.

Southampton have been here before. This time last season they were third on 22 points, just three points behind Arsenal. By close of play on January 1, they were six points adrift of eighth-placed Newcastle after a run of just one win in those nine relentless games. As key players suffered from fatigue, injuries and loss of form, the Saints were forced to turn to Maya Yoshida, Pablo Osvaldo, Danny Fox, Paulo Gazzaniga and Calum Chambers. Their season lost its lustre in six weeks that can break almost any squad.

Southampton were not the first and will not be the last to set off with a gallop and then fall by the wayside. In 2012-13, West Brom dropped from third to seventh in the six weeks before the calendar year that would cost Steve Clarke his job, while Newcastle plunged from third to seventh in 2011-12 and from fifth to 11th in 2010-11.

Injuries to the likes of Tadic during the international may be the first signs of the rot setting in.


Soccer Picks
It’s pretty tough to pick anything other than a Saints’ win here, but I can see Villa making life very hard. As I said they will be about building on the point at West Ham, with another one here and ensuring they don’t lose.

I’m not confident enough in Villa to place my Soccer Pick on them or the draw, but I do see a low-scoring affair whatever the result, so under 1.5 goals is my favourite selection here.

Free Soccer Pick: Under 1.5 goals 23/10 at 5Dimes

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