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Saints can look to victory on Humberside to inspire win at Villa

Southampton travel to Villa Park, with the luxury of knowing that whatever the result, they will still remain second in the Premier League. Despite being away from home, the Saints are still odds-on favourites with Coral at 4/5, to defeat Paul Lambert’s side, who haven’t won in seven fixtures.

In stark contrast, Ronald Koemam’s men haven’t lost since the season opener against Liverpool at Anfield and, even then, they were unlucky not come away with at least a draw. The south coast club have slowly developed into one of the most sought-after team to watch in the league this term, after leaders Chelsea.

If Southampton bring their ‘A-game’ to the West Midlands, they could inflict a heavy defeat on the Villans, and top scorer, across all competitions, Graziano Pelle (nine goals) is 4/1 to break the deadlock.

However, it is fellow new signing, Shane Long who is perhaps the most in-form striker momentarily. The former Hull City man bagged a brace against Leicester last time out to hand Saints another three points.

Their last away match was a tough trip to Humberside, which demonstrated another dimension to their play. Known for their attacking capabilities this term, they went ahead in the first five minutes, then showed remarkable defensive discipline and concentration to protect their lead.

It was a Victor Wanyama wonderstrike that day, and the Kenyan has demonstrated he does have that in his locker, so is 7/1 to net again anytime. For a repeat of that 1-0 scoreline, meanwhile, Saints are a 5/1 price.

Perhaps one of the key components to the way the south coast side play is summer signing Dusan Tadic (7/4 anytime scorer), and the on-field relationship he has with Pelle. The two seem to have a telepathic understanding, which has been vital to their season so far.

For Villa, there is very little in the way of possible scorers, though Andreas Wiemann is their top marksman this campaign with three strikes, and is 2/1 in the anytime market, while Christian Benteke continues to serve a ban.

Paul Lambert’s lads are also depleted in defence, with centre back trio Nathan Baker, Philippe Senderos and Ron Vlaar all out injured. That makes Southampton’s hand even stronger to tighten their grip on second place on Monday Night Football.