Southampton vs Aston Villa | Friday 5th November October 2021, 20:00 | Sky Sports
There is always one club in crisis in the Premier League. That's the narrative of the Barclays.
Last weekend it was my side Tottenham Hotspur. They've finally got their house in order and I won't lie I'm giddy! The crisis club is now is Aston Villa, and in the last few weeks they've been abject, that 1-0 win at Old Trafford in late September seems like a distant memory.
Whilst there is pressure on Dean Smith to start getting results, I feel the calls on him to lose his job if they lose at St. Mary's a little harsh and premature. Villa have lost their talisman, Jack Grealish. A huge percentage of their attacking play was through the young English midfielder, and to lose that outlet causes problems throughout the team.
Grealish could not only earn free kicks up the pitch, but he could keep hold of the ball and slow down the play, allowing the Villa defence to re-organise. Villa's defence has appeared all at sea in the last few weeks, and Tyrone Mings was dropped for the visit of West Ham.
Mings was missed. He might not have been in great form, but I'm sure he wouldn't have given Michail Antonio such an easy ride and with Konsa suspended, Mings should slot straight back in. What doesn't help Villa currently is their injury list, and they will be missing the influential Douglas Luiz for their visit to Southampton.
The not so marvellous Nakamba will be at the base of the Villa midfield and that is a huge drop off in quality. That means there is more pressure on John McGinn to be that all-action midfielder again, trying to get box-to-box. McGinn gets frustrated if things don't go his, or his sides way. He has been booked in his last two outings, both sizeable defeats and the Scotsman is 13/5 to be booked on Friday night.