Southampton are riding the crest of a wave after their commanding 2-0 victory over table-toppers Everton last weekend, on top of a come-from-behind draw against Chelsea the week before.
Aston Villa, however, have had an even better start to the 2020/21 Premier League season.
The Villans thumped Liverpool 7-2 at the start of October and had won all four of their games before coming unstuck against Leeds United last week.
Ahead of Southampton’s visit to Villa Park, Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl gave an update on the latest squad news.
There are three Southampton players who are confirmed to miss the Villa game on Sunday.
Moussa Djenepo, Mohammed Salisu and Will Smallbone will be sidelined, though Hasenhuttl noted that all three are training as they try to gain the fitness required to play.
“The three are all back in team sessions so far but are not back fit to play,” Hasenhuttl said in his pre-match press conference.
“Sunday’s game has come a little too early, I think, but they are on a good way.”
Elsewhere, Theo Walcott could return to the first team after missing out against parent club Everton last week. Meanwhile, new Saints signing Ibrahima Diallo could start, though Oriol Romeu’s fine form in central midfield could hinder that for the time being.