Paul Merson feels a key difference between Aston Villa and Sunderland in the duo’s bid to beat the drop is that the latter have a renowned goal scorer in their team in Jermain Defoe, the Daily Star reports.
Writing in his weekly column, Merson believes Villa need to push on from their recent win over Crystal Palace but feels they lack a player like Defoe who can score ten goals from now until May.
“They’ve [Aston Villa] had a good few days after the draw with Wycombe and the fall-out of the coach being mobbed by angry fans,” Merson explained.
“They beat Crystal Palace and now Swansea have dropped into it. Suddenly they have an outside chance again.”
“Sunderland have Jermain Defoe. Villa have no-one like that who could get you ten goals from now until the end of the season.”
“But they need to make sure they don’t waste their second chance.”
Sunderland, despite their recent defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, have given their survival hopes a real boost in recent weeks with back-to-back league victories over Villa and Swansea City.
Defoe scored five goals in those two matches, taking his season tally up to nine Premier League goals which is remarkable for a 33-year-old playing for a current bottom three side.
Sam Allardyce is seemingly setting the Black Cats up to get the best out of their striker, similarly to how Tim Sherwood set up Villa last year in order to aid Christian Benteke’s game.
Unfortunately for the West Midlands side, they no longer have that talisman to pull them out of the mire and their leading scorer thus far is Jordan Ayew with just five goals.
Villa are the league’s lowest scorers in the league and without a player of Defoe’s ilk who pretty much guarantees goals, from their current standing relegation seems a foregone conclusion.