Aston Villa was desperate to end their poor run of results at Southampton and continue in the hunt for the title. They were pulling out all sorts of measures to ensure that they pick up all three points against the Saints.
Ray Houghton was set to undergo a late fitness test to see if he can come back. Villa had not won in 10 visits to the Dell since 1982.
Ron Atkinson said “That sort of statistic doesn’t worry us. We have already won away at Wimbledon, United and Liverpool. If we play well, we have a chance anywhere.”