Southampton XI: Stekelenberg; Yoshida, Caulker, Van Dijk, Targett; Romeu, Wanyama [c]; Ward-Prowse, Juanmi, Ramirez; Pelle
Substitutes: K. Davis, Clasie, Fonte, S. Davis, Tadic, Martina, Seager
Aston Villa XI: Guzan; Hutton, Clark, Crespo, Amavi; Bacuna, Westwood, Sanchez, Richardson; Agbonlahor [c], Gestede
Substitutes: Bunn, Okore, Sinclair, Veretout, Ayew, Gil, Grealish
Aston Villa will have Kevin MacDonald in caretaker charge tonight when they face Southampton at St Mary’s in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup.
Saturday’s 2-1 home loss to Swansea City left Villa bottom of the Premier League with just four points from 10 games following a run of six straight top-flight defeats, as manager Tim Sherwood was shown his marching orders the next morning after just eight months at the helm.
MacDonald, who also took temporary charge of the club back in August 2010 following Martin O’Neill’s sudden departure, will now look to guide his side to a confidence-boosting win against Ronald Koeman’s men and has made several changes from the Swansea defeat, bringing in the fit-again Ciaran Clark, Jose Angel Crespo, Ashley Westwood, Carlos Sanchez and Jordan Amavi.
Joleon Lescott, Idrissa Gana and team captain Micah Richards are all rested as a result, while Jordan Ayew and Jack Grealish drop to the bench.
Koeman, meanwhile, is without Sadio Mane following his red card in the weekend’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool, while fellow forwards Jay Rodriguez and Shane Long are also out injured.
He makes seven changes from the team that earned a point at Anfield, with Maya Yoshida, Steven Caulker, Matt Targett, Oriol Romeu, James Ward-Prowse, Juanmi and Gaston Ramirez replacing Cedric Soares, Jose Fonte, Ryan Bertrand, Jordy Clasie, Steven Davis, Dusan Tadic and Mane in the line-up.
Nevertheless, the Dutchman is confident that his side will not suffer from the changes, telling the BBC ahead of the match: "The difference between this season and last season is that, in my opinion, we have more competition between the players," said the Dutchman.
"Some players deserve to play and this is the opportunity for them to show they count in our squad and they give real competition to the rest of the players.
"You have to be 100% to go on in this tournament. We like to win and we like to reach the final."
Villa are without a league win since beating Bournemouth 1-0 on the opening day of the season but have since managed 5-3 and 1-0 Capital One Cup victories over Notts County and Birmingham City, respectively, to set up tonight’s meeting with the Saints.
The hosts, meanwhile, thumped Championship side MK Dons 6-0 in the third round, while they also romped to a 6-1 win in their last meeting with the claret and blues in May, when the suspended Mane scored the fastest hat-trick in Premier League history in just 2 minutes and 56 seconds.