Paul Merson explains his clear prediction for Stoke City v Aston Villa

Paul Merson believes Stoke City will hammer Aston Villa 3-0 today.

Pundit Paul Merson has told Sky Sports that he thinks Stoke City will thrash Aston Villa 3-0 at the Britannia Stadium this afternoon.

The Potters had picked up just one point in four Premier League games before beating Bournemouth 3-1 last time out almost two weeks ago.

Mark Hughes' men have been a little inconsistent at times this season; superb against the 'big' teams having beaten Manchester City and Manchester United at the Britannia Stadium this season, but they have also struggled to get themselves up for some so-called 'smaller' games.

Today, they face that exact challenge as they host an Aston Villa side who sit bottom of the Premier League table, and look set for relegation to the Championship.

Eight points adrift of safety and with only three Premier League wins this season, Remi Garde's men are seemingly doomed - and their 6-0 defeat to Liverpool last time out has fans furious with the direction of the club.

Now, former Villa playmaker Paul Merson has had his say on today's game, and doesn't think matters will get any better for Garde's side.

Merson has told Sky Sports that he thinks Villa are 'doomed', and will lose the game 3-0 this afternoon, with Marko Arnautovic tipped as the opening goalscorer.

"I can't see anything but a Stoke win. When you look at the league table and their recent results, Aston Villa look doomed," said Merson. "Mark Hughes' side hit form with an excellent result at Bournemouth and I can seem them scoring three without reply against Villa. I'm backing Marko Arnautovic to score the first goal," he added.

What's your prediction for Stoke City v Aston Villa this afternoon?

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