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Prediction league: Villa at home

Three defeats on the bounce mean saints have a point to prove, Luckily this week they entertain the worst team in premier league history

Michael Steele/Getty Images

Villa at home. The perfect game when you are low on confidence, unable even to save yourself from a beating by Liverpool's B team.

Saints undefeated run has come to an abrupt halt in recent weeks. Three defeats in a row and some strange tactical decisions have left many fans questioning Koeman for the first time. An anaemic performance against Stoke didn't provide an obvious scapegoat, instead a worrying lack of effort, guile and panache seemed to take the blame. No such problem finding people to blame at the Etihad. Big Ron named a strange line up, completely dumping the tactics that see the saints dominate most opponents, opting for four central midfielders. City flourished. It didn't help that the always worrying Yoshida started at full back. Some fans seem to blame Maya for this, but perhaps Ronald or Les Reed should accept responsibility every time he gifts the opposition winger a goal.

Worse was to come in the second half against Liverpool's reserves as Koeman used his subs to jettison all sense of balance in the side. The thrashing that followed was as evitable as it was crushing.

So there is hope for a Villa side hopelessly floundering at the foot of the league. If Koeman does something stupid again they may be able to pounce.

To the predictions:

Only George had a shread of confidence in the city game, and that was only because he hadn't seen Koeman's line up before the article was published. So everyone gains a point on Mr Galpin.

WRITER POINTS
Jake 9
Dan 8
Merse 7
Connor 6
Lawro 6
George 3
Will 3

According to our first four predictors the gulf between City and Saints is the same as Saints and Villa. Going for home victories of the same margin.

Lawro: 2-0

"It is hard to say whether Villa's biggest problem is at the back or up front. They rarely look like scoring, but defensively they look extremely poor."

Merse: 2-1

"Three or four weeks ago St Mary's would have been a nightmare place to go for Villa but Southampton will have been wounded by the 6-1 defeat to Liverpool."

Jake: 3-0

Worried about this one. However, I feel Southampton's pride would have been damaged on Wednesday night and will seek vengeance against an unsuspecting Aston Villa."

Dan: 3-0

"3-0 to us, Villa are bottom of the away league table and we need to bounce back."

George: 2-0

"The team to gain a smidge of pride back against Villa, but after an unconvincing performance that does little to lift the mood."

Will: 4-1

"Garde won't set up his team in the same suicidal manner that Sherwood did but Tadic and Mane will have bundles of fun against Hutton and Richardson"

Connor: 2-0