Mark Lawrenson predicts Crystal Palace v Aston Villa, explains fear over Sherwood

Mark Lawrenson believes Crystal Palace will beat Aston Villa 2-0 this weekend.

Pundit Mark Lawrenson has told BBC Sport that he believes Crystal Palace will defeat Aston Villa 2-0 at Selhurst Park this weekend.

Palace lost 2-1 to Arsenal last weekend in a close-fought game, but manager Alan Pardew won't be too disheartened having seen his side beat Norwich City 3-1 on the opening day of the Premier League season.

With a second home game in a week, Palace will be looking to bounce back in front of their home fans - and face a Villa side who are still finding their feet after summer of upheaval.

Manager Tim Sherwood has made a raft of new signings as well as having lost the likes of Ron Vlaar, Fabian Delph, Tom Cleverley and Christian Benteke from the side which reached the FA Cup final last season.

A 1-0 defeat to Manchester United last weekend was no great shame, but Sherwood needs to make sure results keep coming whilst his new signings begin to gel at Villa Park.

Speaking in his BBC Sport column, pundit Mark Lawrenson believes that Palace will run out 2-0 winners on Saturday, whilst he also noted that he has a big fear surrounding Sherwood - that he doesn't know his best team yet having signed so many new players

"I can understand why Crystal Palace were a bit hacked off after their defeat by Arsenal - if Francis Coquelin had been sent off when he should have been then that would have changed the game," said Lawrenson. "But that defeat means the Eagles have got a bit to prove here. If they are going to be the team myself and a lot of other people think they will be and finish in the top half of the league this season, then this is a game they need to win."

"With Villa, the big question for most of last season was 'where is their next goal coming from?' At the moment, it is 'when will their manager Tim Sherwood know his best team?' and I fear finding the answer might take a little longer than this weekend," he added.

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