Battle of Premier League's young guns at Villa Park
8:30am Saturday 12th January 2013
Saints are one of the Premier League’s youngest teams, but at Villa Park today they are expected to represent the experienced heads.
Nigel Adkins’ men will travel to face Paul Lambert’s Aston Villa, who currently retain an even more youthful complexion than they do.
The average age of Villa’s starting XI in their last league outing – a 2-2 draw at Swansea – was just 22.7.
Only one player in the entire team, 28-year-old goalkeeper Brad Guzan, was older than 23.
Unsurprisingly, that marked the youngest ever Premier League team fielded by the Midlands club.
Their line-up is expected to be similar this afternoon, with Lambert set to drop some of the more experienced players that featured in their embarrassing 3-1 defeat at Bradford in the Capital One Cup this week.
Saints have been a noticeably young side this term as well.
The average age of their team has, at times, dropped below 24.
With the likes of Artur Boruc, 32, and Guly do Prado, 31, having played recently that figure has increased.
Against Arsenal, in the club’s last league game, the average age of the starting XI was 25.9.
Saints will be hoping that extra experience will tell this afternoon, in what is likely to be a tense encounter with one of their relegation rivals.
Villa's Lambert feeling the pressure - see today's Daily Echo