Mark Lawrenson thinks a lack of goals will be the downfall for Sheffield United at Aston Villa on Monday.
The Blades travel to Villa Park in the Premier League on the back of successive defeats in their two games so far this season.
Albeit Thursday’s Carabao Cup loss to Burnley was on penalties following a 1-1 draw in normal time. It came on the back of a 2-0 opening day defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Lawro thinks that the Villans will continue to make life hard for Chris Wilder’s side.
“I just get the feeling the Blades might find it difficult to put the ball in the net in the first place this time around – I am really not sure where their goals are going to come from,” the pundit wrote in his BBC Sport column.
“Aston Villa, meanwhile, will be buoyed by Jack Grealish signing his new contract. Now he really needs to kick on and put a string of big performances together, because they need him to.
“The signings of Emiliano Martinez and Ollie Watkins will be a boost for Villa too – Dean Smith knows all about Watkins because he signed him for Brentford from Exeter in 2017 – and I think they will start their season with a win.”
Will Aston Villa beat Sheffield United?
Lawrenson has previously been criticised on this site for his predictions. Last season, for example, he had United finishing 17th with 32 points with his guesses. Instead then were ninth with 54 points.
We’re not convinced he has this one correct, either. Wolves are a far stronger side than Villa – who only avoided relegation themselves on the final day of last term.
Yet the 63-year-old does have a point about the lack of goals. Only three teams scored fewer than the Blades in the top flight in 2019/20.
It’s something Wilder is hoping to address during this transfer window. Watkins was actually linked with a move to Bramall Lane, before Villa agreed to pay a club record fee rising to £33m.
Oli Burke has arrived from West Bromwich Albion, but Wilder is still hoping to sign another striker. Both Liverpool’s Rhian Brewster and Folarin Balogun of Arsenal are being considered.