Bridge, Barry and Samuel all have England aspirations
Bridge, Barry and Samuel will all be hoping to demonstrate their England credentials tonight
Aston Villa meet Southampton tonight and there will be an interesting sub-plot in the battle of the 'lefties'. Saints star Wayne Bridge made his first ever start for his country in a competitive game last week and tonight he will come face to face with two of the youngsters hoping to take his place on the left - Gareth Barry and Jlloyd Samuel.
Villa first-team coach Stuart Gray, who is a former manager of Southampton, believes that the two young Villa players could even be the answer for England's left flank.
He commented: "Jlloyd is a very talented boy, who can play in several positions. You'll find him at right back for the under-21s and left wing-back for us. He can do a job wide left, centre-half.
"People might say that that might go against Jlloyd, but from a manager's and a coach's point of view it does help your team selection if you know that he can play in several positions at the standard that he is producing.
"The only thing I would say to Jlloyd is that he has come in and done very well, but it's all about end product. We now need to see him in the final third either creating a goal or scoring for the Villa.
"I think Gareth Barry and Jlloyd could be the answer for England, but that's down to Gareth and Jlloyd to produce quality performances on a consistent level, but the again I don't pick the England side. That's down to Mr Eriksson.
"I know he takes the under-21 games in, and I know with the amount of Premiership games he sees, that Gareth and Jlloyd must have hit him in the eye with their performances."
Meanwhile, Villa manager Graham Taylor is hoping that Darius Vassell's outing for England last week will be a springboard for him to get back among the gaols for his club.
"That has got to be a boost to Darius's confidence," Taylor said. "The fact he was a substitute for both European Championship games this week and came on for one of them is going to be good for him.
"I can understand how he felt a little bit after being almost the best player against Sweden [in the World Cup] and then never getting another look at all and he seems to be falling behind Alan Smith in the ratings.
"Coming on in the week will be have been excellent for him. I haven't seen the match yet, but I heard Darius did OK when he came on. "