After a fine run of form which inspired their escape from the threat of relegation, it was quite astonishing to see Villa taken apart by a rampant Southampton, conceding a blistering hat-trick to Sadio Mane and a brace from Shane Long amid shambolic defending to be out of the game by half-time.
It is the kind of showing which they cannot afford in the upcoming FA Cup final against Arsenal, but on the whole it has been a superb turnaround from Tim Sherwood. Here, he will be aiming to end the league season with a fourth consecutive home victory.
The target for the visitors will be to end a determined and spirited year at the top table on a high and avoid finishing bottom of the pile, which in truth would be a harsh reflection of their efforts. The draw with Stoke City rather summed up their recent failures, as they failed to score despite playing well.
This game marks the final game in a claret and blue shirt for Ross Wallace and top scorer Danny Ings, while Steven Reid’s fine career will come to an end. The former Irish international has been a dependable player in the Premier League for over a decade and will want to sign off with success here.
There will be no senior players rested by Aston Villa, for whom Scott Sinclair could make a first appearance since making his loan move from Manchester City permanent.
Burnley have no new injury concerns, so their injury list continues to only comprise of long-term absentees Kevin Long and Dean Marney.
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