BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson predicts Aston Villa v West Ham, praises Slaven Bilic

Aston Villa

Mark Lawrenson believes Aston Villa and West Ham will draw on Boxing Day.

Pundit Mark Lawrenson has told BBC Sport that he thinks Aston Villa and West Ham United will draw 1-1 at Villa Park on Boxing Day.

Aston Villa go in to the game sitting bottom of the Premier League table, and have picked up just seven points from 17 games in a dismal campaign so far.

Manager Remi Garde has been in the job for almost two months now, but is still searching for his first win as Villa boss – though he will have been somewhat encouraged by his side's 1-1 draw at Newcastle United last weekend.

Points are needed, and fast, if Villa are to stay up – but this could be a good time to play their opponents West Ham United.

The Hammers haven't won in seven games now, with manager Slaven Bilic handed major blows with injuries to Winston Reid, Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini, Victor Moses, Diafra Sakho and now Andy Carroll.

With three 0-0 draws in a row, West Ham have become incredibly solid at the back, but are struggling in attack without Payet and Lanzini.

Now, pundit Mark Lawrenson has told BBC Sport that he thinks Villa are already down - and despite West Ham's struggles in front of goal, is tipping them for a 1-1 draw at Villa Park.

Lawrenson also praised West Ham manager Slaven Bilic for not complaining about his injury problems through his side's poor run of form.

"I would never normally say before Christmas that a team will be relegated - but I think Aston Villa will be relegated," said Lawrenson. "Yes, they came back to draw 1-1 at Newcastle last weekend, but that was Villa playing for 45 minutes and still getting just one point. They haven't got goals in them - it's a real worry."

"Considering all the injuries West Ham have suffered, boss Slaven Bilic has not made a great deal about them. He doesn't moan every week about having players out. The Hammers have not got many goals in them but look sound defensively - illustrated by three consecutive 0-0 draws," he added.

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