Mark Lawrenson predicts Aston Villa v Manchester United, discusses positives for Sherwood

Mark Lawrenson believes Manchester United will beat Aston Villa tonight.

Pundit Mark Lawrenson has predicted in his BBC Sport column that Manchester United will beat Aston Villa 2-1 at Villa Park tonight.

Villa opened their season with a hard-fought 1-0 win over newly-promoted Bournemouth, with new signing Rudy Gestede coming off the bench to secure all three points.

Earlier in the day, Manchester United had kicked off the Premier League season against Tottenham Hotspur, and also claimed a 1-0 win thanks to a Kyle Walker own goal.

Now, the two teams meet in the first Friday night game of the Premier League campaign, with Tim Sherwood's men looking to take a real scalp at Villa Park.

However, pundit Lawrenson has predicted in his BBC Sport column that Louis van Gaal's United will see off Villa in a 2-1 victory for the Red Devils, but did acknowledge that the way Villa beat Bournemouth last weekend was a real positive having initially started slowly before clinching the win.

"Villa are going to take time to bed in their new players," said Lawrenson. "It was important that they beat Bournemouth last week and after a slow start they improved in the second half, so that is all positive for them. Manchester United won too, but they looked pedestrian in possession against Tottenham and did not create many chances."

"I am sure Louis van Gaal is still trying to buy players because, with what he has got, he cannot be convinced that they are going to finish fourth yet. But I am going to tip United to go to Villa Park and get a win. What Van Gaal has got is a team that does not give the opposition many chances and I think they will do enough at the other end too," he added.

With so many new signings for Villa this summer - ten new arrivals with Adama Traore's signature earlier today - Lawrenson is right that Sherwood's men need some time to gel.

Yet in front of a passionate Villa Park crowd, United, who have a host of new signings themselves, could come unstuck, with Sherwood no doubt looking to cause a shock this evening.

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