Last season’s 6-1 victory over Sunderland spurred on Villa’s survival efforts. Today it’s a rather different story for Aston Villa but a similar story for Sunderland. Aston Villa are currently in mid-table and now have the opportunity to climb into the top 10 with up and coming fixtures against teams around Aston Villa. Sunderland have improved under new manager Gus Poyet, they have been playing better and with more confidence. Yet their only win under Poyet have come at home and Sunderland are still struggling on the road without winning a single away game.
Aston Villa welcomed back Delph, Weimann and Agbonlahor last game against West Brom. The trio may well start against Sunderland. Meanwhile Antonio Luna and Gary Gardner have resumed training. Okore, N’Zogbia and Bennett remain long-term causalities. Marc Albrighton is back following a loan move to Wigan
Wes Brown’s red card has rightly been overturned and will return to the side. Dossena and Cattermole also return after serving a three-match ban. Former Villa player Carlos Cuellar is out with a hip-injury and keeper Kieran Westwood is struggling with a slight knock.
Sunderland have won just one and lost 11 of their last 13 Barclays Premier League away games (D1).
There have been four red cards in the last three league meetings between Sunderland and Villa at Villa Park, with the Black Cats being given one in each game.
The Black Cats have lost their last five Premier League away games in a row and failed to score in the last four. The last time they went five away matches without scoring was in May 2009 (six games).
Aston Villa 2-0 Sunderland
Sunderland aren’t playing well and Aston Villa are playing better. Plus Lambert has so many players back from injury making our squad much stronger and our bench can now make an impact. Lambert will change the way we’ll play against Sunderland and surely we won’t be playing on the counter today. Squad-wise, the only surprise will be the inclusion of Lowton and exclusion of midfielder Delph following both Westwood’s and El Ahmadi’s goals.