Mark Lawrenson predicts Bournemouth v Aston Villa, highlights Sherwood's biggest problem

Tim Sherwood Press Conference Smiling 12/02/2014

Mark Lawrenson believes Aston Villa will lose to Bournemouth this weekend.

Pundit Mark Lawrenson has written in his BBC Sport column that Bournemouth will spring a surprise and beat Aston Villa this weekend.

The Premier League is back this weekend and one of the more intriguing clashes sees newly-promoted Bournemouth take on Tim Sherwood's Aston Villa.

Bournemouth completed their rags-to-riches story by winning the Championship last season, with Eddie Howe now looking to keep the Cherries in the top flight.

New signings such as Christian Atsu and Max Gradel offer pace and star power in the final third, whilst centre back Sylvain Distin has been brought in to provide Premier League experience in a youthful Bournemouth side.

The game against Villa will be played in front of a packed Vitality Stadium, and Tim Sherwood's men have to be wary of a shock result.

New signings such as Micah Richards, Idrissa Gueye, Jordan Veretout and Jordan Ayew are likely to feature for Villa, but pundit Lawrenson has told BBC Sport that Sherwood could have trouble bedding so many new signings - and has predicted that Bournemouth will win this game 2-1.

"I think Bournemouth will be this year's Burnley. By that, I mean everyone will want them to do well because of the way they play, the size of their ground and where they have come from," said Lawrenson. "If they stay up, it would just be the most fantastic survival story ever. Can they do it? Well, they will have a go at teams and when they get it right they will make lots of chances."

"Aston Villa must have a new French scout based on the number of signings they have made from Ligue 1 this summer. I think they might take a while to bed in, though, and I don't think Tim Sherwood will know his strongest team yet. That won't help either," he added.

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