Mark Lawrenson raves about 'positive' Sherwood, predicts Southampton v Aston Villa

BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson has predicted today's game between Southampton and Aston Villa.

Pundit Mark Lawrenson has told the BBC that he believes Southampton and Aston Villa will draw 1-1 at St. Mary's Stadium later today.

The game will see two sides in differing form lock horns, as the Saints have won just one of the last six games, whilst Aston Villa have won three of their last four games.

Last weekend's 1-0 win over West Ham means Villa now sit four points clear of the relegation zone with just two games to play, meaning manager Tim Sherwood is moving ever closer to achieving his goal of keeping the club in the Premier League.

Another victory would guarantee Villa's survival, though a trip to St. Mary's Stadium will be tough despite Ronald Koeman's side being in poor form of late.

After a great start to the season, Southampton have tailed off of late, and lie just one point ahead of eighth placed Swansea City.

A win would be ideal for the Saints in their final home game of the season, but pundit Lawrenson has told the BBC that he predicts a 1-1 draw on the South Coast - whilst also suggesting that Villa will stay up thanks to their 'very positive' coach Sherwood. 

"Southampton's lack of goals is an obvious problem for them at the moment but, other than that, I don't know why they are struggling now compared to the first two-thirds of the season when they played so well," said Lawrenson. "Flip their season round and everyone would be talking them up for next year but because they have faded it is threatening to overshadow what has been an excellent campaign."

"Aston Villa, in contrast, are flying and picked up another huge win against West Ham last week. They are not mathematically safe yet, but I do not see Tim Sherwood's side being relegated. He is a very positive coach and that has rubbed off on his players - they look like they are enjoying themselves again," he added.

With the game kicking off early, a win for Villa could see them safe before their relegation rivals have even been able to play - something Sherwood will be keen to achieve this afternoon.

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