Four straight defeats and the suspension of several staff members suggest that Aston Villa's season is in danger of falling apart at the worst possible time.
It is believed that the pair's suspension centres on accusations of bullying during practice sessions.
Having lost their last two matches, the Saints are also in need of a result to prevent a campaign that had started so brightly from petering out, while a strong finish could persuade manager Mauricio Pochettino, who is apparently being courted by Tottenham Hotspur, and several of their sought-after stars to stay.
One of those who will not feature in the Midlands is Jay Rodriguez, with the Three Lions international forward expected to miss six months of action after suffering knee ligament damage.
Christian Benteke is the most notable of his injured absentees, so, like his opposite number this weekend, Lambert will be without a top goalscorer who has also been ruled out of the World Cup this summer.
Ciaran Clark is likely to drop out for the hosts as they revert to their usual 4-3-3 formation, having played with a trio of central defenders in the 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace in their last outing.
Southampton, who lost 1-0 at home to relegation-threatened Cardiff City last weekend, won at Villa Park by the same scoreline last term courtesy of a first-half Rickie Lambert penalty.
Possible starting lineups
Villa: Guzan; Lowton, Vlaar, Baker, Bertrand; Westwood, El Ahmadi, Delph; Weimann, Agbonlahor, Holt
Southampton: Boruc; Chambers, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw; Cork, Schneiderlin, Davis; Ramirez, Lallana, Lambert
Sports Mole says: 1-2