Southampton v Aston Villa live stream, Sky Sports, Friday 5 November, 8pm GMT
Aston Villa will be looking to end their losing run when they face Southampton on Friday night.
A 4-1 reverse against West Ham last weekend means Dean Smith's side have now suffered four defeats on the bounce in the Premier League. Smith might argue that the debatable red card shown to Ezri Konsa shortly after half-time was the decisive moment of the match, but West Ham were already 2-1 up at that point and had been the better team when there was numerical parity.
The Villa boss shifted to a 4-3-3 formation for the visit of the Hammers after an experiment with a 3-5-2 system that patently did not suit summer signings Emi Buendia and Leon Bailey.
Yet as the 4-1 scoreline suggests, Villa's problems run deeper than on-field configurations. A post-Jack Grealish slump was always possible, and it is now up to Smith to find a formula which gets Villa up the table. Three points above the relegation zone is not where they expected to be after 10 games of the season.
Southampton, by contrast, head into Friday's game in decent form. A return of seven points from the last nine available means the Saints will climb into the top half, at least temporarily, if they beat Villa.
Ralph Hasenhuttl will be pleased with the solidity his side have shown of late. Southampton kept their fourth clean sheet of the campaign in a 1-0 victory over Watford last time out, while they have conceded seven fewer goals than their upcoming opponents. Villa will not find it easy to break down this stubborn Saints side.
Smith remains without Bertrand Traore, while Douglas Luiz, Danny Ings and Trezeguet are also out with injury. Konsa is suspended and will be replaced in the backline by Tyrone Mings. Jacob Ramsey has been passed fit to feature, but Morgan Sanson and Jaden Philogene-Bidace will need to be assessed.
Southampton will have to make do without Jack Stephens, but Armando Broja could be fit to start up front.
Kick-off is at 8pm GMT on Friday 5 November, and UK viewers can watch live on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event. See below for international broadcast options.
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