Mark Lawrenson has described Sheffield United as a “Championship side in a higher division” ahead of their clash with Aston Villa.

The Blades host Villa at Bramall Lane on Saturday. They are playing a newly promoted side for the second time in as many weeks.

Last time out they won 2-1 at Norwich City – the team they finished runners-up to in the second tier last season. The Villans went up via the playoffs.

Of the three the Blades have fared the best so far in the top flight. They are currently eighth in the table with 22 points from their first 16 games.

This weekend’s opponents are 17th and only outside the relegation zone on goal difference. Norwich are second from bottom and four points from safety.

What Lawro thinks about Sheffield United v Aston Villa

(Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images)

Lawrenson has been predicting the result for all the Premier League fixtures this season. If all of his guesses were correct, United would be in the relegation zone themselves with 11 points.

Fortunately that is not reality. Although Lawro does think Chris Wilder’s men will triumph at Bramall Lane on Saturday.

“They play like they are a Championship side in a higher division, which might sound like a backhanded compliment but I mean it in only a positive way,” Lawrenson wrote in his BBC Sport column.

“The Blades fight for everything and never know when they are beaten. I am backing them to win again this weekend too.

“Their performances and results have not dropped off yet, and seeing as we are now in mid-December I don’t think they will.

“Form-wise, Aston Villa are quite up and down and can be quite open, but their main problem is that they don’t seem to be able to get anything out of games unless they play well.”

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