After our bubble-bursting defeat to Leeds, Villa face an in-form Southampton side who have won three out of the last four.
Villa fans will be hoping for a quick return to winning ways but the omens are patchy at best. We’ve won just once in our last eleven games against the boys from St Mary’s, and suffered a 6-1 hammering in 2015. Historically, it’s even-steven, with Villa on 28 wins, Saints on 27, and 23 draws.
After our encouraging start to season 2020-21, Villa fans are most likely split between heady optimism and Midlands-style weary cynicism before our game with Fulham this Monday.
Regardless where your mindset falls, matching Sheffield United for toughness whilst maintaining discipline and looking dangerous throughout was certainly a vast improvement on last seasons often lightweight efforts.
Our second string then looked imperious at times during our League Cup tie with Bristol City, suggesting Dean Smith’s work in building a culture of excellence at Villa Park is beginning to bear fruit. The performances of Davis and Traore in particular will have been noted by their opposite numbers in the first team.
After last season’s journey to the League Cup Final and given that it was the last major trophy we won – albeit nearly a quarter of a century ago – Villa have something of an affinity with the competition we were inaugural winners of back in 1961.
After vanquishing League One Burton Albion in the second round last week, we’re straight back into action in the third round tonight against Championship side Bristol City.
This is it! After 36 games played in the Premier League Aston Villa host Arsenal for their final home game of the season; a fixture which holds paramount importance in deciding which league Villa will be competing in next season.