Dimitar Berbatov disagrees with Mark Lawrenson in Aston Villa vs Fulham prediction

Aston Villa are back in Premier League action this weekend as we say goodbye to the international break.

While fans may have missed domestic football, the week without a game could have provided Villa with a much-needed boost ahead of their clash against relegation-threatened Fulham.

Club captain Jack Grealish has missed the last six games through injury, with Villa coming out as winners in just one.

But the talisman has returned to training this week and will be available for selection in Sunday afternoon’s clash.

Ahead of the game, pundits have been giving their thoughts with Mark Lawrenson predicting that Grealish will be the difference between the two sides.

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“If Newcastle do drop points, Sunday is another chance for Fulham to climb out of the relegation zone – but it is a bad time to play Aston Villa because Jack Grealish is fit again,” he told BBC Sport .

“I was at Villa Park for 5 Live before the international break to see Villa lose to Spurs, and they really missed Grealish – they could not get the ball up the pitch effectively without him.

“His return will give Dean Smith’s side a big lift, as well as giving them far more of a goal threat. Fulham need the points, but I fancy Villa to take them.”

Lawrenson’s prediction : Aston Villa 2-1 Fulham.

It’s a thought shared by former Premier League striker Michael Owen.

“Aston Villa fans will breathe a sigh of relief that Jack Grealish looks set to return to the side. Without Grealish, Villa endured a difficult spell prior to the international break,” he told BetVictor .

“The Villans are safe in mid-table, however, they risk ending the season with a bit of whimper if their poor run continues.

“Fulham’s fight against survival has been great to watch. They’ve been a real breath of fresh air and I believe they still have every chance of achieving survival.

However, I don’t see much in terms of goals here, and I feel the return of Grealish could spell trouble for the visitors. It’s 1-0 Villa for me.”

Owen’s prediction : Aston Villa 1-0 Fulham.

However, former Fulham man Dimitar Berbatov thinks the game will pan out differently.

“My old team are still in trouble but they have a life line and they need all the points they can get,” he told the Metro .

“Aston Villa are probably playing for nothing. This is a game where Fulham can take something, it’s winnable if they stay focused and concentrated, which they have to do in every match to the end of the season.”

Berbatov’s prediction : Aston Villa 0-1Fulham.



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