Paul Merson predicts Newcastle v Aston Villa

Newcastle Table 1

Former Arsenal star predicts an easy win for Newcastle United over Tim Sherwood's Aston Villa.

John Carver and Tim Sherwood are two managers with differing tasks at hand. The Newcastle boss has to try and tip them over the edge into the top 10, or risk further losing engagement with supporters underwhelmed by his appointment.

Sherwood has the enthusiasm which Carver struggles to communicate, and has a more pressing need for points with Villa sitting in the relegation zone.

Despite this, pundit Paul Merson has told SkySports he expects a win for Newcastle this weekend.

He said: "Newcastle got rinsed last week, while Villa have a new manager – I thought it was a good decision bringing in Tim Sherwood, but nothing really changed against Stoke on Sunday.

"They had just three shots last week, only two on target and I thought they would have had a lot more than that. So I think Newcastle will bounce back this week and win 2-0."

The potential pitfall of Merson's prediction is that he has based it on Villa failing to gel in their first league game under Sherwood. The players and manager have now had an extra week to work together, and Newcastle have not exactly put up great resistance of late, that would inspire confidence against a side which could suddenly click.

Villa's record of six losses from their last six games is woeful, but there was an FA Cup win a fortnight ago in there, while Newcastle have won only one of their last six in the Premier League themselves.

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