Paul Merson explains why he's changed his mind about Aston Villa

The Sky Sports pundit had initially feared for Tim Sherwood's side.

Paul Merson says he has changed his mind about Aston Villa - for the better, according to Sky Sports.

Indeed, the former Arsenal midfielder says he feared for Villa's Premier League safety a few weeks ago but is now more confident about the Midlands side.

And the pundit has therefore predicted a 12th-place finish for Aston Villa in the top flight, suggesting Sherwood's men have more about them than several of their mid-table rivals.

Merson told Sky Sports: "A few weeks ago I feared Aston Villa might be relegated but I don't think they will now because they've got enough in their squad. I look at those mid-table teams that have brought in quite a lot of players and they need to gel quickly."

Conveniently, Aston Villa currently sit in exactly 12th place after four Premier League games.

Since their opening-day win over Bournemouth, though, Villa have gone three games without a victory. One of those games was against Manchester United and one at Crystal Palace - so expecting wins there might be a bit harsh of the Midlands outfit.

But, judging by the signings made by Aston Villa, there are certainly plenty of sides in a worse position than Sherwood's men.

After the international break, Villa travel to Leicester City before hosting West Brom in a local derby. Then comes another derby in the Capital One Cup as the Midlands side face Birmingham City.

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