Southampton v Aston Villa: Saints to deploy first-half barrage

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Although Southampton have just endured consecutive Premier League defeats for the first time this season, those were both away, and both came against the Premier League’s current top two. Back in their own backyard; expect Mauricio Pochettino’s side to take out their frustrations on Aston Villa early doors.

The last team to have left St Mary’s were Hull and much like the three teams to have paid Premier League visits before them, they did so in a daze.

Steve Bruce’s side were simply blown away in the first 45 minutes as three goals rained into the back of the visitors’ net.

Pochettino’s trademark seems to be a high tempo approach from the whistle and considering Saint’s have now been in front at both the break and full time in their last three at St Mary’s, it’s an approach clearly rewarded by maximum points.

Although 4/6 for the home win against Villa is not a price to start packing the suitcase over, the 11/8 on the home-home in the half-time/full-time stakes is more festively spirited.

Meanwhile, some proper spare Christmas shopping cash may be found in backing another first-half rich in Saints’ goals.

Not only have the hosts averaged two per first half in their last three at St Mary’s, but Villa were also down 2-0 at the break against West Brom in their last away game.

Ladbrokes offer 21/10 that more of Southampton’s goals arrive before the team talks, 7/5 on a first-half win to nil for the south coast side and 7/4 on over 1.5 total goals in the game pre-break.

In fairness to Aston Villa, they have kept three clean sheets in their last four league games, so don’t expect them to roll over and have their tummies tickled.

Though after failing to score in two of their last three away and five times in their last seven league games in total, the 1-0 or 2-0 scoreline in Saints’ favour, in the coupled correct score market, could be a good route to go down too at 27/10.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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