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Aston Villa v Southampton

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Lambert: Desperate for a win

Lambert: Desperate for a win

Aston Villa will hope to put a dismal run of form behind them when they host fellow strugglers Southampton at Villa Park on Saturday.

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Villa will no doubt go into the game a little short on confidence after their shock 3-1 League Cup semi-final first-leg defeat to League Two side Bradford City.

The defeat at Valley Parade saw the Villans add to their string of poor results in the Premier League.

Paul Lambert's side have won just once in their last five league games and have suffered heavy defeats at the hands of Tottenham and Chelsea.

Villa desperately need a win to halt their skid down the table and a very winnable match against the 17th-placed Saints should provide them with a chance to get back on track.

In addition, they will have to deal with the injury of England striker Darren Bent who hurt his knee in the loss to the Bantams.

Bent joins Mark Albrighton (ankle), Ryan Dunne (groin), Gary Gardner (knee) and Ashley Westwood (ankle) on the sidelines.

Lambert will, however, receive a boost with the news that skipper Ron Vlaar may make the match-day squad if he comes through training on Friday unscathed after recovering from a calf strain.

Meanwhile, Southampton find themselves perilously close to the relegation zone and only avoid the bottom three positions on goal difference.

Nigel Adkins's side, though, did win their last game against Reading and will look to build on that result when they travel to the Midlands.

Much to the relief of the St Mary's faithful, the club were able to secure talented teenager Luke Shaw to a long-term contract earlier this week.

However, Adkins still have a host of injuries to deal with, most notably captain Adam Lallana who remains out with knee injury.

Others include Gaston Ramirez (thigh), Nathaniel Clyne (knee) and Jose Fonte (knee) who will all miss the trip to Birmingham.

Posted: 11/01/13 14:26

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