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Premier League

  • November 30, 2013
  • • 10:00 AM
  • • Villa Park, Birmingham
  • Referee: N. Swarbrick
  • • Attendance: 33036

Premier League Preview: Aston Villa - Sunderland

The Wearsiders were soundly beaten in the corresponding fixture last season although but will hope for an improved result as they aim to climb off the foot of the table.

Sunderland will be out for revenge when it travels to Aston Villa on Saturday, having lost the corresponding fixture last season 6-1.

The comprehensive defeat came under the tenure of former boss Paolo Di Canio, bringing Sunderland back down to earth after wins over north east rivals Newcastle United and Everton early in the Italian's reign.

Christian Benteke's 17-minute hat trick added to goals from Ron Vlaar, Andreas Weimann and Gabby Agbonlahor to hand Villa a convincing victory.

Weimann returned from a hamstring injury as a second-half substitute on Monday as Villa fought back from two goals down to draw with West Brom, and feels Sunderland will be a different proposition at Villa Park this season.

"It was the best game I have played in. It stands out above the rest," Weimann told the club's official website. "It finished 6-1 and you certainly don't see that every week.

"It will be a very different test this time around. Sunderland has a different manager and new players too. It will be a very tough game for us."

The Premier League's bottom club, Sunderland has the division's leakiest defense and faces a Villa side which recovered from a four-game run without a goal to score twice in each of its previous two top-flight outings.

Gus Poyet's side has picked up just one point on the road in the league this season and has not scored away from home in the Premier League since August.

Sunderland will have Wes Brown available after the red card he received at Stoke City last week was rescinded but fellow defender Carlos Cuellar misses out on a return to his former club due to a hip injury.

"Unfortunately we’ve lost Carlos for a few weeks," Poyet said. "But apart from that we should have practically the whole squad challenging for a place."

The Black Cats have fitness doubts over the availability of Keiren Westwood, Andrea Dossena and Modibo Diakite due to minor injuries.

Villa manager Paul Lambert has no fresh injury concerns as the club looks to extend its unbeaten run against Sunderland to five games. Antonio Luna and Gary Gardner are in line for a return to action after recovering from hamstring and back injuries respectively.

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