Writer: Gary Johnson
Date:Tuesday March 23 2010
Sunderland face a difficult few weeks as they face Villa on Wednesday night and then Liverpool away on Sunday.
It is about time Sunderland had an away game as they took eight valuable points from twelve in their four consecutive home games recently. The reason for this run of home ties was due to Villa beating Palace in the FA Cup replay and this tie being rescheduled.
Aston Villa seem to have hit the form Sunderland have came out of and this could be a perfect time to face Sunderland supporter Martin O'Neill's team.
If Jones passes a late fitness test the only real choice for Bruce is who to play in the centre of midfield against the Villians.
Steve Bruce on complacency: 'This club is steeped in, we don't do things easy is one thing I've learned.
'Look at last year, everyone was patting themselves on the back when I think they got to 33 or 34 points, and then picked up one point in the last eight and only just managed to escape because others got beat.
'So, we're not going to take anything for granted.'
Aston Villa will be without Gabby Agbonlahor and Richard Dunne and this could be good news as these are Villa's two strongest players this season.
Sunderland were linked strongly to John Carew in the Summer and also January if Jones left for Liverpool. He is a nuisance in the box and Mensah and Turner will have another eventful game trying to keep Carew away from the goal.
Sunderland are near to full strength with Cana back from his two game ban, Cattermole back to fitness after making a subs appearance in the last victory against Birmingham and Jones close to fitness after missing the game on Saturday.
Henderson also will come into contention but the game may come too soon for Andy Reid.
Kieran Richardson has started the last few games in the centre of midfield to replace the suspended captian Cana. He has vastly improved in this role and will look to keep his place as Sunderland look to win away for the first time since the opening day.
If Richardson can maintain his good form and not make any mistakes like he is prone to do we have a chance in this game to score some goals.
Villa have the only unbeaten Premier League record in 2010. However, they have drawn six of their nine matches this year.
Darren Bent is the Premier League's most prolific striker this month with five goals in three matches.
Referee: Mike Dean Assistant referees: Robert Madley & Rob Lewis Fourth official: Mike Jones
Aston Villa 1 - 0 Sunderland Although we seemed to have turned a corner in our last four home games we will still struggle on the road on Wednesday evening. Villa will be hungry to make amends for some poor results. They will look at Sunderland and their awful away record as a perfect chance to gain another three points.
Sunderland will face out of form Liverpool at Anfield on Sky at 4pm next Sunday.
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Date:Tuesday March 23 2010
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|14. Leicester City||38||11||8||19||-9||41|
|17. Aston Villa||38||10||8||20||-26||38|
|18. Hull City||38||8||11||19||-18||35|
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