Paul Merson predicts Palace v Villa, explains why Sherwood should be pleased

The Sky Sports pundit has given his verdict on the upcoming Crystal Palace - Aston Villa clash.

Paul Merson believes Crystal Palace will beat Aston Villa in the Premier League this weekend, according to his regular Sky Sports predictions column.

However, the former Arsenal midfielder says Villa boss Tim Sherwood should be pleased with his side's start to the season.

The Midlands outfit have won one and lost one going into the Selhurst Park fixture, with Crystal Palace's record being identical ahead of the game.

Merson told Sky Sports: "Palace had a good result against Norwich but were then a bit unlucky not to get anything against Arsenal. I think they might just edge this one because they are at home and will be a bit more ruthless than Bournemouth were against Villa on the opening day.

"Villa have one win and one loss as well and I think Tim Sherwood will be quietly pleased with three points, one goal scored and one conceded - it's not the worst start in the world."

Reasonable conclusion?

The formbooks suggest Merson could be spot on here - and without causing too much of a stir for a change!

Crystal Palace will have home advantage, although, as the pundit suggests, Aston Villa can't complain with three points out of a possible six going into the Premier League clash.

Merson's suggested scoreline is 2-0 and, if Villa are to prove him wrong, Sherwood will have to sort his strike force out. Fans have called for Gabby Agbonlahor to move out wide, while Rudy Gestede can only really make an impact if his fitness is now up to speed.

Aston Villa's forwards will need time to gel, of course, and that may well suit Crystal Palace this weekend.

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