Southampton travel to Villa Park on Sunday and will be looking to claim their fourth win of the 2020/21 Premier League season.
A 2-0 win over league leaders Everton last weekend showed the level of form that Saints have reached recently and proved that they can challenge in the top-half this year.
However, facing a rejuvenated Aston Villa will be completely different this campaign.
Dean Smith’s side have claimed four wins from their opening five games and look very capable of having a successful time this year themselves.
Ahead of this weekend’s fixture, team news from both sides may show that the Villans have better options available than Saints.
Ralph Hasenhuttl confirmed in his pre-match press conference (via Hampshire Live) that he will be without each of Will Smallbone, Moussa Djenepo and Mohammed Salisu – explaining that they are not fit enough to play but their situations are improving.
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Djenepo and Smallbone have appeared for Saints this season and would have provided additional options on the wing and in midfield.
A boost for the hosts is likely to come with the return of Theo Walcott to the matchday squad after he was ineligible to face his parent club Everton last Sunday.
Salisu is yet to make his debut for the club after signing from Real Valladolid in the summer transfer window, although there have been previous hints from Hasenhuttl that he has a slight injury problem that needs to be managed carefully.
Aston Villa have no fresh injury problems but are likely to remain without Tom Heaton, Kortney Hause and Wesley who were unavailable for their last game against Leeds.
Dean Smith explained that Heaton is close to returning and will be featuring for the club’s Under-23s team soon as he builds his fitness back up.
There is a strong chance that both sides will name the same starting line-ups for this game as they did in their last outings, although a few changes to freshen things up can also be expected.