Aston Villa injury woes ahead of crucial Southampton clash

Danny Ings, Douglas Luiz, Ezri Konsa, and Bertrand Traore are all unavailable for Aston Villa’s crucial Premier League fixture at Southampton this Friday.

Ings, Luiz, and Traore are nursing injuries while Konsa is set to serve a one-match ban after being sent off in Sunday’s loss to West Ham.

Villa have lost four-straight Premier League matches and manager Dean Smith will view Friday’s match as a must-win. Reports suggest the club board could review Smith’s position if the side lose to Southampton.

Smith’s side enters Friday in 15th place with 10 points from 10 matches. Southampton have taken seven of possible nine points in their last three matches and sit 10th with 11 points.

Villa won their last meeting with Southampton, 1-0, on January 30, 2021, but were winless in their previous nine matches with the Saints.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 31: Michail Antonio of West Ham United and John McGinn of Aston Villa during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and West Ham United at Villa Park on October 31, 2021 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

James Ward-Prowse, who Villa had substantial interest in signing over the summer, has more goal involvements in matches against Aston Villa (5) than any other side in the division.

Southampton vs. Aston Villa team news

Despite not having Ings, Luiz, Konsa, and Trarore available for selection, Smith welcomes Morgan Sanson and Jacob Ramsey back to the fray.

Sanson was reportedly ill for the West Ham match, and Ramsey picked up a knock on Sunday that was initially believed to be serious. Instead, he’s been given the green light and could start on Friday.

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl welcomes attackers Armando Broja and Moussa Djenepo back to a squad that is fully fit outside of Jack Stephens.

Aston Villa formation: Smith likely to stick with a 4-3-3 set-up

Smith reverted back to a 4-3-3 formation in the loss at West Ham, and although the rest was unfavorable, he’s likely to stick with the same system on Friday.

With Ramsey and Sanson available, one of the two is likely to join John McGinn and Marvelous Nakamba in a three-man midfield. Sanson, who has yet to settle at Villa due to injury, could offer experience and a sense of calm in the middle of the park.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – MARCH 21: Morgan Sanson of Aston Villa during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur at Villa Park on March 21, 2021 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. Sporting stadiums around England remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

With Ings out, Smith is spared a tough decision of which center forward to start. Ollie Watkins will lead a front three with Leon Bailey on the left and Emi Buendia on the right.

Tyrone Mings, who was dropped from the starting XI for the West Ham clash, is set to return to with Konsa unavailable. Looks for Kortney Hause, who played well enough on Sunday, to retain his starting place.

Aston Villa projected Starting XI: Martinez; Cash, Hause, Mings Targett; Nakamba; McGinn, Sanson; Buendia, Watkins, Bailey

Southampton projected Starting XI: McCarthy; Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Salisu, Livramento; Romeu, Ward-Prowse; Armstrong, Redmond; Broja, Adams

Date/time: Friday, November 5 at 8:00 PM BST/4:00 PM EST

Ground: Saint Mary’s

TV/Streaming UK: Sky Sports

TV/Streaming US: Peacock