Paul Merson explains why his opinion on Aston Villa's match against Southampton has changed

Aston Villa are set to travel to St. Mary's to face Southampton on Saturday.

Paul Merson has admitted to Sky Sports that his opinion on Aston Villa’s match against Southampton has changed.

Villa are set to travel to Southampton on Saturday, and while Merson originally saw the contest as a tough tie – the former Arsenal midfielder has now suggested that Remi Garde’s men have a chance of picking up a victory.

Although Merson claims that he has not seen much from Villa to be encouraged by over recent weeks, the former England international feels that the Saints’ recent form hasn’t been great.

"Four weeks ago, I would have said Southampton is a really difficult game but all of a sudden they are in a bit of a slump,” Merson said.

"Villa just need a bit of luck but they are getting so far cut adrift at the moment that a draw here or there is not going to be good enough. They need to win a football match very quickly. I worry for them."

Southampton have lost their last three matches, and they were demolished by Liverpool in their latest outing.

The Reds beat Ronald Koeman’s side 6-1 in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday evening, and that should offer Villa some encouragement.

If Garde’s team are to get the three points on the south coast they will have to improve themselves, though.

Southampton are still a dangerous opponent, and if Villa are not at their best then they could suffer another defeat.

The Claret and Blues are already seven points adrift of safety, meaning that they have to start picking up victories if they are to get out of trouble.

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