Premier League Preview: Aston Villa - Sunderland
The Wearsiders are looking to avoid defeat at Villa Park for the fourth season in a row while Paul Lambert's side must improve at home to ensure Premier League survival
By Simon Sinclair
Lowton, Vlaar, Baker, Bennett
El Ahmadi, Westwood, Delph, N'Zogbia
Bardsley, O'Shea, Cueller, Rose
Larsson, Gardner, N'Diaye, Johnson
Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert may opt to stick with the same team that lost to Manchester United last time out. Joe Bennett (ankle) picked up an injury during the defeat at Old Trafford but should be fit to face the Black Cats, if not Ciaran Clark could fill in at left back.
Karim El Ahmadi could come into the team after a decent performance against the Red Devils, expect either Charles N'Zogbia or Andreas Weimann to make way if he does with Fabian Delph and Ashley Westwood continuing in the center of midfield.
Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio welcomes back the duo of Phil Bardsley and Craig Gardner for the trip to Villa Park. Bardsley has recovered from an ankle knock which kept him out of the win against Everton last week and he should replace Jack Colback at right back.
Gardner, meanwhile, has returned from a two-game suspension after picking up his 10th booking of the season at Chelsea three weeks ago. Di Canio will still be without long-term absentees Lee Cattermole and Wes Brown (both knee) as well as Steven Fletcher (ankle).
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Aston Villa has the second worst defense in the Premier League this season, conceding 63 goals, only Reading (65) have conceded more.
- Paul Lambert's side has taken seven points out of a possible 21 at Villa Park in 2013.
- Christian Benteke (pictured right) has scored 19 goals for Villa in all competitions this season, including four in his last six Premier League games.
- Sunderland hasn't been beaten at Villa Park since the 2008-09 season when goals from John Carew and Ashley Young won the game for the Villans.
- The Black Cats have been revitalized under Paolo Di Canio, taking six points from their last three games after going nine games previously without a win.
- Striker Danny Graham has yet to score for Sunderland following his 5 million pounds move from Swansea City in January.
Top 3 Predictions
Aston Villa 1-1 Sunderland
- 21.26 %
Aston Villa 2-1 Sunderland
- 12.21 %
Aston Villa 1-2 Sunderland
- 11.35 %
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||Jan 1, 2014||Sunderland 0 - Aston Villa 1|
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||Nov 30, 2013||Aston Villa 0 - Sunderland 0|
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||Apr 29, 2013||Aston Villa 6 - Sunderland 1|
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||Nov 3, 2012||Sunderland 0 - Aston Villa 1|
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||Apr 21, 2012||Aston Villa 0 - Sunderland 0|
|Mar 2, 2014||Aston Villa 4 - Norwich City 1||EPL|
|Feb 23, 2014||Newcastle 1 - Aston Villa 0||EPL|
|Feb 11, 2014||Cardiff City 0 - Aston Villa 0||EPL|
|Feb 8, 2014||Aston Villa 0 - West Ham 2||EPL|
|Feb 1, 2014||Everton 2 - Aston Villa 1||EPL|
|21||Jordan Nathaniel Bowery||Striker|
|24||Carlos Javier Cuéllar||Defender|
Times In EDT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed