Aston Villa stopped the rot to edge ever closer to Premier League safety after picking up a priceless point in a 0-0 draw against Southampton at Villa Park. Rickie Lambert and Steven Davis came close to breaking the deadlock while there were strong claims for a penalty when Nathaniel Clyne's cross hits Ryan Bertrand on the hand. Marc Albrighton was outstanding for Villa, but could not help them break the deadlock.
Harrison Reed, 19, replaces Adam Lallana for Saints.
Nathaniel Clyne's wayward pass goes out for a goal kick.
We're into THREE added minutes of stoppage time as Robinson is caught hanging in an offside position.
Callum Robinson hooks a high ball back across goal after making an intelligent, darting run, but nobody is in the middle.
Paul Lambert has changed his system to a 4-4-2 with the two substitutes Holt and Robinson in attack now.
Dejan Lovren fouls Grant Holt for a free-kick on halfway. Robinson's first touch is not the best though!
The limping Andreas Weimann is replaced by 19-year-old striker Callum Robinson, who comes on for his top flight debut.
Andreas Weimann limps to the ball after a forlorn chase downfield.
Mauricio Pochettino sends on Jack Cork for Victor Wanyama in a like-for-like.
Grant Holt will be supported by Andreas Weimann and Gabby Agbonlahor in attack for these final few minutes.
Grant Holt replaces Karim El Ahmadi as Paul Lambert makes his first change of the match.
NO PENALTY! Nathaniel Clyne's cross hits Ryan Bertrand on the hand, but referee Lee Mason points for a corner.
Albrighton's cross from the right deflects into Artur Boruc's hands at the near post.
Wanyama goes off the field to receive some attention as Paul Lambert gets ready to bring on Grant Holt.
Albrighton's cross is too early this time as Victor Wanyama goes to ground.
Former Espanyol boss Mauricio Pochettino will be pleased with the way his side have played this afternoon. Both managers would no doubt settle for a point apiece this afternoon as we approach the final quarter.
Former Athletics star Iwan Thomas is in the crowd watching the action. Nathan Baker gets away with a lucky clearance.
Marc Albrighton's ball to the back post fails to find anybody in claret and blue.
Vlaar outmuscles Adam Lallana off the ball and it's a goal kick to the hosts.
Ron Vlaar gets across his near post to clear Luke Shaw's dangerous delivery.
Brad Guzan makes a fine take after Sam Gallagher looked to touch home Rickie Lambert's low ball into the box.
James Ward-Prowse is replaced by young striker Sam Gallagher for Southampton.
Luke Shaw catches Marc Albrighton wide right and the Saints full-back goes into the book.
NO GOAL! The flag goes up against Adam Lallana. His touch and finish is wonderful nevertheless.
Gabby Agbonlahor sets up Ashley Westwood, but his shot from long-range is sliced wide of the mark.
EASY SAVE! Marc Albrighton tests Boruc with a fierce left-foot strike. The Poland international fumbles the ball into the air before catching it.
The free-kick comes off Nathaniel Clyne and straight into Artur Boruc's hands.
That came after Adam Lallana found himself in a good position, but failed to pick out a team-mate in the box.
Dejan Lovren is booked by referee Lee Mason after catching Gabby Agbonlahor.
We've approached the hour mark at Villa Park and it remains goalless.
Rickie Lambert looks for Adam Lallana, but Nathan Baker gets across to make a solid challenge.
The visitors won last season's meeting at Villa Park 1-0 courtesy of a Rickie Lambert penalty but went into this match on the back of successive defeats, including a shock home loss to Cardiff. It's a much more even contest at Villa Park.
Karim El Ahmadi nudges Morgan Schneiderlin for a cheap free-kick. The Saints man did make a meal of it and gets the decision.
WHAT A CHANCE! Adam Lallana fluffs his lines in front of goal. In fact, he clips his own heels after being set-up by Luke Shaw down the left.
Lovren has been outstanding at the back for the visitors, while Albrighton has looked a menace for the hosts.
Dejan Lovren makes another important clearance from Marc Albrighton's tempting cross.
Karim El Ahmadi's effort deflects up in the air and out for a corner.
The Holte End find their voice as Artur Boruc kicks the ball straight out of play.
POOR FINISH! Karim El Ahmadi collects the ball on the chest but instead of hitting the ball full on the volley, he goes for placement instead of power, and that allows Artur Boruc to make an easy save at his near post.
Joe Pugh writes in to give Paul Lambert some tactical advice: "Villa can still take something from this game, it's open and it's an opportunity for them. I like seeing Bacuna bomb forward - imagine him doing it from midfield... Lowton into the team at full-back, push Bacuna up with Albrighton on the wings, support Gabby and Weimann up front."
Marc Albrighton turns inside Luke Shaw, but is unable to get away from him.
Gabby Agbonlahor nudges Dejan Lovren off the ball for a Saints free-kick.
Aston Villa get the second half underway once again, playing towards the famous Holte End. There have been no changes at the break.
If you'd like to send me your views during the second half, email Raz...that's me! at email@example.com or Tweet me: @RazMirza and I'll publish the best.
It's goalless between Aston Villa and Southampton in what has been an entertaining encounter. Rickie Lambert could easily have bagged an early brace - firstly with a header straight at Brad Guzan - and then a deflected effort wide of the far post. The Villa shot-stopper was then on hand to make a flying save to deny Steven Davis from scoring from close-range. Villa's Marc Albrighton has looked a real live-wire, although the hosts have yet to test Artur Boruc.
We're into ONE added minute of stoppage time as Marc Albrighton wraps his foot around the ball to send over a brilliant cross, but nobody is on hand to send it into the back of the net.
Artur Boruc palms the ball off Dejan Lovren and the ball rebounds away for a corner.
Eighth-placed Saints have collected 22 away points in the Premier League this season.
Luke Shaw catches Marc Albrighton. The two youngsters are going at it hammer and tongs. It's been a really good contest between those two players so far today!
Simon Dugdale from Worcester is not happy with the side Paul Lambert has picked today: "I believe Lowton should be playing instead of Bacuna today. Lowton would be a better candidate to deal with Lallana and Shaw. Bacuna is a shaky defender and like Baker they are two players that don't read the game."
The ball into the box is met by Nathan Baker, but Artur Boruc is untroubled.
Ryan Bertrand's cross from the left is headed behind for a corner by Jose Fonte.
Victor Wanyama brings down Fabian Delph in the middle of the park.
Ryan Bertrand's delivery is a good one, but it evades everybody in the area.
James Ward-Prowse and Steven Davis have swapped sides as Karim El Ahmadi goes over after Victor Wanyama catches him with an arm to the face.
Leandro Bacuna is caught the wrong side of Luke Shaw, but he gets away with it and then Guzan's clearance strikes Rickie Lambert and flies away for a goal kick.
Nathan Baker makes another important clearance from inside his own box as Saints pen Villa back.
GREAT SAVE! Steven Davis' goalbound effort is brilliantly parried away by the flying Brad Guzan after the goalkeeper had misjudged the initial cross.
Nathan Baker slides across to clear Luke Shaw's delivery from the left once more.
Karim El Ahmadi catches James Ward-Prowse which earns him a stern talking to by referee Lee Mason.
Morgan Schneiderlin's cross is headed up by Rickie Lambert for Guzan to claim. Adam Lallana had burst through the middle at the start of the move and might have been clean through had the ball not struck him on the back.
Gabby Agbonlahor claims his is felled by Dejan Lovren, but referee Lee Mason is happy with the challenge and play continues.
The south-coast club seen happy to play the ball about the back and look to prise Villa out of their shell.
Villa are pressing the ball a lot better than how they started the game which will please manager Paul Lambert.
Luke Shaw gets away from Marc Albrighton for a moment, until the winger gets back to make a solid challenge.
Artur Boruc is forced to hit the ball long and then Nathan Baker lumps it into the stands. The defender did not want to take a touch, which shows he is clearly suffering from a lack of confidence!
Villa have conceded just six goals in their last 12 home league games against Southampton, and never more than one in a game in this run.
Villa have suffered 10 defeats in 17 home matches this season, which is not good enough for this big club. In fact, they've picked up the same number of points on the road as at home.
Ron Vlaar knocks the ball back down the line and out comes Artur Boruc to collect it. Rickie Lambert earns his side a throw deep in Villa territory.
Villa have worked themselves back into this game, although Saints are still on top.
Lovren took a knock to his head as he cleared the ball and is in need of some attention. He's quickly back on the field though.
Ryan Bertrand wonderful delivery is very well cleared by the £8.5 million signing from Lyon, Dejan Lovren.
Gabby Agbonlahor finds himself in space, but his touch lets him down just as he looked to get a shot away.
Villa beat Saints 3-2 at St Mary's earlier in the season without enjoying much possession and it seems Paul Lambert is adopting the same tactics.
Andreas Weimann is unable to turn home Gabby Agbonlahor's fizzing delivery from the left. That was the first time in the match Villa have looked dangerous on the counter.
Southampton are enjoying 90 per cent possession in these opening 10 minutes at Villa Park. Quite remarkable!
Paul Lambert is giving out orders from the touchline. The Scot is clearly unhappy with this start!
Leandro Bacuna brings the ball out, but Southampton get everybody behind the ball and there is simply nowhere to go for the full-back, so he heads back to Guzan.
CLOSE AGAIN! Steven Davis' low ball from the left is deflected wide of the mark by Rickie Lambert again. He could have scored a brace in these early minutes at Villa Park. Saints are bossing this!
REAL CHANCE! An early escape for Villa as Luke Shaw's left-footed cross is headed towards goal by Rickie Lambert, but the ball goes straight into the grateful hands of goalkeeper Brad Guzan.
Adam Lallana is caught by Ashley Westwood and the visitors play it short. Nathaniel Clyne's ball into the box is collected at the near post by Brad Guzan.
Saints have lost three of their last four games, including their last two in a row. They've settled the betetr and are keeping possession.
It's over 13 years since Aston Villa lost five Premier League games in a row! The home fans are doing their bit at the start of this one.
The pitch is in immaculate condition as ever, while the atmosphere is special and just what Villa boss Paul Lambert would have wanted ahead of this one. Referee Lee Mason blows his whistle and Southampton get us underway!
Villa are wearing their traditional claret and blue number while Southampton are in their black shirts, white shorts and socks. The teams make their way out to Villa Park on a mild spring day in the West Midlands.
Last season: Aston Villa 0 Southampton 1, Southampton 4 Aston Villa 1. Last five league matches: Aston Villa W L L L L; Southampton W L W L L. Top scorers (all competitions): Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) 11; Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) 17.
Jay Plester is also thinking positive: "Pressure grows on Lambert, but I think it's a must win fixture. 2-0 Villa with Agbonlahor and Weimann with the goals."
Villa fan Charlie from Sutton is taking the positives out of what has been another poor season for Paul Lambert's side: "Desperate for a Villa win today as I think if they can do it that should be enough to stay up although with the line-up and Benteke missing I can't see where the goals are going to come from. As much as I and all the fellow Villans want a win I can't see it happening. It's a sad time that we are having to struggle to survive. I hope all the rumours of a sell out come true as Randy Lerner has clearly lost interest. Come on the Villa boys....pull one out of the bag and give us a lift."
ASTON VILLA TEAM NEWS: Leandro Bacuna is back in the Villa side after missing the defeat to Crystal Palace with a hamstring strain. He takes the place of Matt Lowton at right-back. Meanwhile, Andreas Weimann replaces Grant Holt in attack with the Wigan loanee dropping to the bench. Manager Paul Lambert also hands winger Marc Albrighton a starting berth with Ciaran Clark making way.
SOUTHAMPTON TEAM NEWS: Goalkeeper Artur Boruc has beaten his back injury to make the starting line-up. Nathaniel Clyne, James Ward-Prowse and Victor Wanyama also come into Mauricio Pochettino's side.
Cian Hughes emails in to give his prediction ahead of today's clash: "Hi! Good afternoon. I love the way Southampton play their football. It's amazing! And I've got no doubt they'll smash Villa today. I'm going for 3-0 Southampton. Lallana (2) and Lambert."
Meanwhile, Saints take on Villa aiming to hit back to winning form after last weekend's frustrating 1-0 home loss to Cardiff. Manager Mauricio Pochettino is establishing his reputation across Europe and will want revenge after the defeat by Villa at St Mary's in December. Score predictions please Southampton fans! Email firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet me: @RazMirza.
Villa go into today's clash four points above the drop zone with five games to play, but their scrap for safety was shunted down the news agenda when it was announced this week that assistant manager Ian Culverhouse and head of football operations Gary Karsa had been suspended by the club. Patience is running out with a disenchanted fanbase after another season of struggle and 10 home league defeats - and Lambert can ill afford adding another to the list. "Forget about the rest of it, my main focus is to prepare for the game, to go and get the lads ready as best as we can," he said. "We'll try and get the supporters behind us, get everyone positive and try to win a game. That's my job to try and do. (One more win) and we'll be in touching distance (of safety). We always say to the lads to be positive no matter what, we don't talk about being negative. But the lads know the situation, they don't need me to tell them. They know it themselves and we'll be ready for this one." Lambert will be assisted this weekend for the first time by Gordon Cowans and Shay Given. What are your thoughts Villa fans? Email Raz...that's me! at email@example.com or Tweet me: @RazMirza and I'll publish the best.
ASTON VILLA TEAM (4-4-2): Guzan, Bacuna, Vlaar, Baker, Bertrand, Albrighton, Westwood, Delph, El Ahmadi, Agbonlahor, Weimann.
SUBSTITUTES: Steer, Sylla, Tonev, Lowton, Clark, Holt, Robinson.
SOUTHAMPTON TEAM (4-2-3-1): Boruc, Clyne, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw, Wanyama, Schneiderlin, S. Davis, Ward-Prowse, Lallana, Lambert.
SUBSTITUTES: Gazzaniga, Cork, Guly, Chambers, Hooiveld, Reed, Gallagher.
REFEREE: Lee Mason (Lancashire). Matches: 22, R5 Y69.
Here come the teams ...
EARLY ASTON VILLA TEAM NEWS: Leandro Bacuna is back in the squad after missing the defeat to Crystal Palace with a hamstring strain. Otherwise, Paul Lambert is choosing from the same squad with Christian Benteke, Libor Kozak, Charles N'Zogbia, Jores Okore, Nicklas Helenius and Gary Gardner all long-term absentees.
EARLY SOUTHAMPTON TEAM NEWS: Goalkeeper Artur Boruc has beaten his back injury in time for the trip to Villa Park, offsetting the continued absence of fellow goalkeeper Kelvin Davis who also has back trouble. Maya Yoshida (knee) and Gaston Ramirez (ankle) will also miss out.
If you'd like to air your predictions and views before or during the match, email Raz...that's me! at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet me: @RazMirza and I'll publish as many as I can.
Hello and welcome to our live minute-by-minute text commentary of this Premier League clash between Aston Villa and Southampton from Villa Park.