Southampton vs Aston Villa | Saturday 30th January 2021, 20:00 | Sky Sports
Southampton host Aston Villa to conclude Saturday’s Premier League football with both sides looking to bounce back from midweek defeats.
Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has a 100% record against Dean Smith’s Aston Villa, winning all 3 contests between the managers. The contest earlier on in the season at Villa Park finished 4-3 to Saints and here’s hoping this one lives up to that encounter.
Two men took the spotlight that day in November and that is England Euro 2021 hopefuls James Ward-Prowse and Jack Grealish. Both scored and assisted in that game. Both players are adding contributions to their game and that is only increasing their chances of a place in Gareth’s squad. Both players to score and both players to assist in this game is a chunky 175/1 at Coral and it landed in the reverse.
This game scream goals to me, with Southampton especially looking rather jagged defensively lately. Their high intensity game sometime catches up on them but their recent record against Villa fills me with belief.
Since the 2012/13 season, BTTS has copped in 9/12 in this fixture, giving us a 75% hit rate. It’s been a good watch between these two, with 27+ match shots landing in the last 6 head to heads. Villa have scored in every away match this season bar at Manchester City a few weeks ago, who are the current clean sheet kings. Southampton have only blanked at St Mary’s in 2/10 – to Man City and West Ham.
Both sides conceded three goals in midweek showing defensive frailties. I’d be surprised if either goalkeeper keeps a clean sheet here. 4/7 is too short though so if we go into the Bet365 Bet Builder and add Over 0 Southampton cards we can get 10/11.
Saints average 1.47 cards per game and commit 12 fouls per game. Villa are by far the most fouled team in the league, fouled 16 fouls times per game, and their opponents have been carded in 16/18 games, with their opponents seeing 37Y and 4R.
Referee Lee Mason has given Southampton a card in the last 20 GAMES he has refereed them, dating back to the 2012/13 season.
I fancy one of the cards Mason brandishes to go to James Ward-Prowse. He is 4/1 to be carded and that’s an appealing price as he has history with Aston Villa. He has 3 cards in his last 4 matches against them. The only time he wasn’t carded is when he was operating a spell at right-back last season.
Referee Lee Mason has shown JWP 4 cards in his Premier League career, meaning 13% of his 31 yellow cards have been shown by Lee Mason.
Ward-Prose has committed 1.6 fouls per game this season, the most in the Southampton side that regularly starts. His 30 fouls in 19 appearances is the 7th most in the Premier League but these are mainly niggly fouls. His 3 cards in 19 games yields a 16% hit rate but given the opposition he is about to face and with the likes of Jack Grealish playing, his foul count may rise and thus so too his vulnerability for a booking.
What is interesting is that Ward-Prowse’s cautions have come early on, and even more so against Saturday night’s opponents. Two of his three yellow cards this season have been the first in the referee’s notebook, with his card in the reverse fixture coming in the 12th minute. In his last 4 starts against Aston Villa, he has been booked FIRST in 3/4.
He loves a first half card and that may be because of his duties as captain to lead from the front and get his challenges in to let his opponents know he is there.
So, the data we have that points towards value here:
- 3 yellow cards this season but has been the first player carded on the pitch in 2/3.
- Was booked in the 12th minute in the reverse fixture (1st).
- Has been the first player booked in 3 of his last 4 versus Aston Villa.
- 3/3 of his bookings this season have come in the first half (12’, 16’ and 42’).
- 3/3 of his career bookings against Aston Villa have been in the first half.
- In the last 9 games Lee Mason has refereed Southampton, he has booked Ward-Prowse first in 2/9.
- Last season, Mason booked an opposition centre midfielder in 3 out of 5 games refereeing Aston Villa.
The 16/1 available at Bet365 for him to be the first player carded represents huge value and is a cracking price. Go to the cards tab and scroll to the bottom to find it.