Merson predicts Aston Villa v Stoke City

Aston Villa take on a rejuvenated Stoke City side this weekend.

Paul Merson has told SkySports that he predicts Aston Villa will fail to beat Stoke City this weekend.

Villa sit in the relegation zone after seven games, with only one Premier League win to their name.

This came on the first day of the season against Bournemouth, and it has been a struggle ever since, with three draws and three losses.

Stoke City have only one win themselves, but this came last weekend, also against Bournemouth, giving them added momentum to take to their visit to Villa Park.

Merson predicts a 1-1 draw between the two teams, stating: "I can see this being a really close game. There is something missing with Villa at the moment and Stoke are a lot better than their league position suggests."

Stoke City are in 17th place, one place and two points above Villa, but would slip into the bottom three with a loss.

Tim Sherwood's side came close to getting something out of the game at Anfield last week, edged out 3-2, and only lost 1-0 to Manchester United early in the season, but close is not good enough right now.

Villa even just squeezed past rivals Birmingham City in the Capital One Cup, but even that was a disjointed display.

New signings are still settling, while Adama Traore has been out with injury in recent weeks. A good home victory would get them back on track and inspire confidence going forward, but until then, tension will grow and pressure will increase.

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