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18th Feb, 2017 | 11:18am

Sky Sports pundit predicts Aston Villa clash with Newcastle, mentions gulf in class

By Amir Mir

David Prutton believes Newcastle will beat Aston Villa 2-1 at St James’ Park in their Championship clash on Monday night.

Sky Sports pundit Prutton mentioned the gulf in class between the duo this season despite both spending large amounts of money following relegation.

Villa have brought in 17 players since the summer, spending over £80million, while the Magpies spent over £50million last summer.

As a result, Steve Bruce’s side are struggling in the bottom half of the Championship table, while Rafa Benitez’ team sit top.

The league leaders are 30 points ahead of the Midlands giants as they are well on their way in earning instant promotion back to the top tier.

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Ahead of the highly-anticipated clash, former Nottingham Forest man Prutton delivered his verdict on the match.

“It’s a tough one. Both have assembled expensive teams but they are operating on vastly different levels,” Prutton told Sky Sports. “There is something Steve Bruce needs to address at Aston Villa, and his players owe him a big performance and results.

“But at this moment in time, with the way Newcastle are playing and how they are quite comfortable in large patches at home, it will be a tough one for Villa.

“I don’t think it is going to be particularly rampant but with Villa coming off a defeat to Barnsley, Newcastle will know they have the capabilities to beat Steve Bruce’s side.”

The last time these two met, Roberto Di Matteo was in the Villa Park dugout and he saw his team rescue a late draw against their rivals.

Midfielder Aaron Tshibola, who has since gone on loan to Nottingham Forest, headed in the late goal as they are set to lock horns once again.

During Villa’s miserable Premier League campaign last term, where they only picked up 16 points, Newcastle were the only team not to beat them during that season.

Now, the north east club, who have had mixed results in front of their own fans, will be looking to pick up a valuable three points as they aim to keep hold of top spot.

In other Aston Villa news, Alex Bruce has this message for fans calling for his dad’s sacking.

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