Merson: This weekend prediction is being kind to Aston Villa

Former Aston Villa midfielder says he is being kind by picking them to lose narrowly to Southampton.

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has his work cut out in leading the club to victory against Southampton this weekend.

The Saints flying high, and have conceded only five goals in the Premier League all season, the best in defensive record in the league.

Aston Villa meanwhile have the worst attack in the division, scoring only five - and to compound their misery Christian Benteke is suspended.

Unsurprisingly former midfielder and pundit Paul Merson has predicted them to lose, but believes they will score - admitting his 2-1 forecast is kind.

He told SkySports: "Villa were awful against QPR, but were unlucky against Spurs, although they have no Christian Benteke for this game and the way Southampton are playing at the moment, I cannot see anything other than a Southampton win.

"So I am going to go 2-1 to Southampton, and I am being kind to Villa, but I just do not see how they can possibly get a result there.

"It is a nightmare as people will be saying: 'We should be up where Southampton are;, and they are right as Villa are a much bigger team than them, it is just that I do not know what has happened."

Villa and Southampton is the Monday Night kick-off, and despite the game taking place at Villa Park, the home side are 9/2 outsiders to win, with the Saints heavy 4/5 favourites.

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch