Aston Villa’s season hasn’t gone the way Steven Gerrard envisaged as they have won only one Premier League match so far.
There were some encouraging signs during their last match against Manchester City, with Gerrard’s men creating opportunities against the champions and were unlucky not to win, having to settle for a 1-1 draw.
The club take on Southampton tonight and it represents a chance to ignite some spark into their season and go into the international break on a high, and with a Saints defence that’s conceded ten league goals in six matches, Gerrard will be instructing his team to attack from the start.
The 42-year-old could well make some changes to his team, with a rejigging of the midfield vital in order to claim all three points…
On the Chalkboard
The manager appointed McGinn as captain in the summer ahead of the new season, with the Scotsman taking to life in England with ease since making the move from Hibernian in 2018.
He was integral to the Villa side that won promotion to the Premier League in the 2019 Championship playoff final, scoring the second goal in the 2-1 win over Derby County.
Villa consolidated their position in the top flight and McGinn contributed 22 goals and assists to become a mainstay at the heart of the club’s midfield, establishing himself for both club and country.
This season has been different for the £56k-per-week man, however, with performances dropping below his usual high standard.
McGinn hasn’t scored or registered an assist in the six league matches so far this campaign, averaging a SofaScore rating of 6.85 and being substituted in their last four league matches.
He has made on average 0.3 key passes per game this season, compared to 1.5 last year, while also making fewer tackles per game compared to last season (only two per game as opposed to three).
Will McGinn start for Aston Villa tonight?
It is still early and it might be the 27-year-old is feeling the pressure of captaining the side, but his performances will need to improve after the international break, otherwise, he could find himself spending a period on the bench.
If Gerrard is feeling ruthless, that might even happen against Southampton tonight.