Andrew Atherley says Southampton's blend of strong defence and potent attack gives them a good chance at Villa Park on Sunday...
"Southampton have scored in 19 of their 22 away games since the start of last season and, as well as giving them a decent chance of victory, that opens up the possibility of a higher-scoring match."
Back Southampton on draw no bet at 2.111/10
Aston Villa v Southampton
Sunday 1 November, 12:00
Live on Sky Box Office
Villa's chance to rise again
Villa's bubble was deflated by the 3-0 home defeat to Leeds in their last match but they could well rise again. Indeed, they can go top of the table with their games in hand.
Having started the season with four straight wins, Dean Smith's outfit are clearly a different proposition to the team that struggled for most of last season.
Ollie Watkins has proved a goal threat as well as a hold-up option in attack following his £28m move from Brentford, while Ross Barkley's arrival on loan from Chelsea has added further quality alongside Jack Grealish and John McGinn in midfield.
Smith has stuck largely with a settled line-up this season, but one option if he wants to freshen up his side is to start Bertrand Traore in place of Trezeguet on the right wing. That has been a regular in-game change and Smith could opt to give Traore a chance from the start.
Walcott available again
Southampton start this match only two points behind Villa, albeit having played a game more, and are coming off a comprehensive 2-0 home win over high-flying Everton.
Since losing their first two games of the season (1-0 away to Crystal Palace and 5-2 at home to Tottenham), the Saints have gone unbeaten in four matches and collected 10 points from a possible 12.
Ralph Hasenhuttl has no new injury concerns and could keep faith with the side that beat Everton. His main selection issue is whether to bring in Theo Walcott, who contributed two assists in his first match back with the Saints in the 3-3 draw at Chelsea but had to sit out the Everton match under the terms of his loan agreement. Stuart Armstrong would have to drop to the bench to make way for Walcott.
Highly rated midfielder Ibrahima Diallo, who has been limited to a few minutes off the bench against Chelsea and Everton, is likely to be kept waiting again for his first start.
Villa started with two home wins, 1-0 against Sheffield United and then sensationally 7-2 over Liverpool, but were brought down to earth by Leeds last time. The Villans had good chances when that match was goalless, however, and the result might have been different if they had got into the lead.
Smith's side have gone in front in all four wins this season and, in fact, their record is W6 D2 L0 since their last defeat after scoring first (the 2-1 loss to Chelsea in their second match back after lockdown).
It looks pretty important to Villa that they open the scoring and their backers should consider a bet on the hosts at 4.47/2 to be leading at half-time and full-time. Five of their nine home wins have been gained in that fashion since their return to the Premier League (along with three of their four away wins).
Southampton will not be easy to get past, having kept a clean sheet for all three wins this season. Last time they snuffed out in-form Everton's much-praised attack, having previously won 1-0 at Burnley and 2-0 at home to West Brom.
The other side of Hasenhuttl's team is that they have good scoring threat when required, as they showed when coming back from 2-0 and 3-2 down to force the 3-3 against Chelsea in their last away match.
Danny Ings and Che Adams both scored in that match, giving the Saints an end product that is better than many aspiring mid-table sides possess.
Villa's improvement has to be respected, but Southampton's goes back further and is pretty solid.
Since the resumption after lockdown, the Saints' Premier League record is W8 D4 L3 and their away record is W4 D3 L1. The sole defeat on the road, and their only failure to score, was against defensive-minded Palace, which indicates a decent chance here.
The pick is Southampton on draw no bet at 2.111/10.
Regular away scorers
Villa have had three out of five over 2.5 goals this season but Southampton's solid defence tends to suppress the goals count and four of their six matches have been under 2.5 goals.
It is a slightly different story on the road for the Saints, however. Last season, 12 of their 19 away games went over 2.5 goals (63%) and they have had the 3-3 at Chelsea this season.
Southampton have scored in 19 of their 22 away games since the start of last season and, as well as giving them a decent chance of victory, that opens up the possibility of a higher-scoring match.
Over 2.5 goals seems pretty well covered at 1.715/7, however.
Look for goals in Same Game Multi market
Southampton's strong scoring record on the road, plus Villa's greater attacking threat this season, indicates a good chance of both teams to score, which is available at 1.594/7 on the Betfair exchange.
Putting that together with a Southampton win by exactly one goal looks appealing in the Same Game Multi market at almost 6/1 on the Betfair Sportsbook.
Only Liverpool (18) and Manchester City (15) have won more Premier League games in 2020 than Southampton (12, level with Arsenal and Manchester United). The Saints are 2.8815/8 to win here.
GET A FREE £10 BET WHEN YOU PLACE A SAME GAME MULTI
Bet £10 on a Premier League Same Game Multi for games on Saturday and Sunday and get a free £10 Sportsbook bet to use on any market, once settled, T&Cs apply
Back Southampton on draw no bet at 2.111/10