Former Liverpool players Mark Lawrenson and Michael Owen are disagreeing over their predictions for Aston Villa’s game against Leeds United on Saturday night (5.30pm).
Dean Smith ‘s side head to Elland Road for the reverse fixture of October’s 3-0 defeat to Leeds hoping to get back to winning ways after losing to Leicester City last time out and drawing with Brighton and Hove Albion the game after a win against Arsenal on February 6.
Leeds, meanwhile, have struggled to put a consistent run of form together with the 3-0 defeat of Southampton last time out only a second win in five games with the other matches defeats.
Lawrenson has suggested that, without captain Jack Grealish through injury, Villa looked ‘ordinary’ and with their talisman out again this weekend he is predicting a 2-0 win for Leeds.
Owen, meanwhile, thinks Villa will pick the Whites off and win 3-1 labelling Marcelo Bielsa defence ‘pretty weak’.
Lawrenson told the BBC: “Leeds were really strong against Southampton in midweek, and won without Kalvin Phillips in their team.
“The only other time that has happened this season came when they beat Villa in the reverse of this fixture in October. Phillips is still injured and I am going for the same outcome again this time.
“I’ve talked before about how Phillips knits Leeds together and they are not the same without him – well, we found out what Villa are like without Grealish.”
Owen’s prediction could not be more different.
Writing for gambling firm BetVictor, he said: “I’m really looking forward to this one. Both these sides have been excellent to watch this season, and I’m expecting quite the tactical battle here.”
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“There’s no doubt in my mind that Villa will again set up to pounce on the counter-attack. If Leeds fall into that trap, I think they could be in trouble.
“By giving away a bit of territory, Villa should be able to spring forward and exploit a pretty weak Leeds defence. If that materialises, I think Villa will leave with the points.”