By George Overhill

29th Sep, 2022 | 5:10pm

Leeds United are “dull” at the moment and Aston Villa were “dire” in their previous win against Southampton so the pair will draw when they meet, says Paul Merson.

The Whites finally return to action on Sunday 2 October when Steven Gerrard brings his depleted squad to Elland Road, 29 days after Jesse Marsch’s side last saw action in the 5-2 defeat at Brentford.

He has a number of players back from injury, while the visitors lost Boubacar Kamara and Lucas Digne in the mean time but did hold champions Manchester City to a draw while Leeds were being beaten before an admittedly dismal 1-0 win on 16 September, so while Villa are in better form Merson has predicted a 1-1 result at the weekend.

In his predictions column for Sportskeeda Merson said: “Leeds are a bit dull at the moment, and this is a big game for them. If they lose this game, their good start goes out the window. Neither team has played particularly well so far this season.

“Aston Villa pulled off a big result against Southampton but if they lose here, they’re back to square one. Their victory against Southampton was important, but the game was dire.

“If Steven Gerrard had lost that game, serious questions would’ve been asked. They did win, however, and fair play to them. They’ll have to go and grind one out again this weekend.”

Optimistic

The Sky Sports pundit may be accurate about the nature of the last Villa win but to describe United as “dull” is a bit of a stretch.

It’s true they haven’t been entertaining for a few weeks because they haven’t done anything but that is thanks to two postponements and the international break so perhaps he has forgotten what they are actually like.

The most recent outing at Brentford saw a few defensive calamities, seven goals, a penalty conceded, one somehow not awarded in return, and the manager sent off for his furious protests.

So while it was not what Whites fans wanted to see in just about every department it would be a struggle to see it as boring.

After a strong start to the season plenty of supporters would be glad of an uninspiring 1-0 win in this match to get things back on track, or for that matter to see their team in action at all.

With possibly everyone back fit bar Stuart Dallas Marsch is sure to switch a number of things up from the team that was thrashed a month ago, and with a number of players doing well on international duty there is currently considerable competition for places.

In other Leeds United news, a former Liverpool player made the trip to Leeds in tribute to an Elland Road legend.