Sat 30 Nov 2013 15:00 – Aston Villa v Sunderland (Villa Park)

Referee: Neil Swarbrick

Aston Villa will be hoping for a repeat of last year’s fixture when they demolished their opponents from the north east by six goals to one, but they have only won two games at home this season. Sunderland have not won any of the last four meetings between the two sides and have lost all but one of their away games this season. They have also failed to score in their last four away games.

Sunderland are fortunate to have a fully fit squad to choose from while Villa have a few fringe players still missing but will be hoping to welcome Spanish left back, Antonio Luna, back into the side.

Sunderland will have to improve in two areas if they are going to get a result at Villa. Firstly, they have only scored an average of 0.3 goals away from home this season and have not scored in the last four; secondly, they have conceded an average of 2.3 goals per game away from home. It will require a dramatic reversal of fortune to overcome this statistic. Villa average a goal a game at home and concede an average of 1.5 per game, but all the goals they have conceded have been against top eight teams.

There is still a lot of work for Gus Poyet to do at Sunderland and it is too soon to expect a radical change to their dismal away form. Villa have only played one team outside of the top eight at home this season and that was Cardiff who they beat 2-0. There is nothing to suggest that Villa cannot earn their third home win of the season this weekend against a team that is unlikely to even score a goal.

Match prediction: Aston Villa 2-0 Sunderland

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