Mark Lawrenson reveals Burnley scoreline prediction ahead of Aston Villa clash

(Photo by Nick Potts - Pool/Getty Images)(Photo by Nick Potts - Pool/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nick Potts - Pool/Getty Images)
Burnley are back in Premier League action on Thursday night, when they take on Dean Smith's Aston Villa at Villa Park.

Writing in his weekly predictions column for BBC Sport, pundit Mark Lawrenson backed a 1-1 draw between the two sides.

Justifying his prediction, the ex-Liverpool defender claimed: "Aston Villa, in 10th, are only seven points behind leaders Tottenham and the gap would be even smaller if Villa take anything from their two games in hand.

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"It just shows how open the Premier League is this season. I don't think any one team is going to pull away and while it would be pushing it to suggest Villa are going to feature right at the top end, their improvement in the past few months should give them reason to believe they can stay in the top half."

The pundit continued: "Villa are not just more of a threat going forward, they have shown with wins like the one they got at Wolves on Saturday that they can go out and keep things tight then nick the points, which is not what they were known for at any stage last season.

"I would be surprised if they roll Burnley over, though. Sean Dyche's side got a couple of breaks against Arsenal, with Granit Xhaka's stupid red card for the Gunners then an own goal for their winner, but they were due a bit of luck and they are better than their league position suggests."

Meanwhile, Lawro's opponent for the midweek fixtures, Travis bass player Dougie Payne, opted for a 2-0 Villa win.