Writer: Gary Johnson
Date:Friday October 22 2010
Stadium of Light
Sunderland have already claimed a new record this season. They have went 5 league games by picking up 5 points in consecutive draws.
This needs to change in order for our decent start to be cemented by a top 10 finish this season. Gerrard Houllier will have some say in this as Sunderland face an improved Villa team this weekend.
The big debate amongst the Sunderland faithful will be whether or not to stick with 4-5-1 or go all out with 4-4-2 with Gyan up front with Bent.
Villa have some injury problems and will hope to maintain their great record at the Stadium after being the last team to win here since last season.
'When we looked at the fixture list, I knew it was a really difficult start and I have been delighted with the way we have played.
"To go six games unbeaten in the Premier League takes some doing.
'We could quite easily have had at least two more wins in there.
"The extra four points two wins give you would take us up into the realms of the top five. That is how close we are."
Sunderland will see if Kieron Richardson is fit enough to start left back and Gyan could come in to replace Welbeck.
Only today Titus has been cleared of all rape allegations and will head into this game with new confidence.
For only £1m this Summer he is becoming the bargain of the season after another MoM display at Ewood Park on Monday.
Let's hope he can get the better of Heskey as we look to build on the 3rd clean sheet in a row this campaign.
Gabby Agbonlahor will miss the game with a groin strain and Luke young will miss the game with a torn hamstring.
Villa will be hopeful Dunne, Heskey and Albrighton are all passed fit in time for Saturday.
After just missing out on signing him in the Summer we can expect him to raise his game against us on Saturday. Ireland is brilliant at moving the team forward and can also be lethal in front of goal.
Sunderland have only won one of their last nine league meetings against Villa (W1, D2, L6).
They are unbeaten at home this season and have only lost once in 14 games since the 2-0 defeat by Villa in December (W5, D8, L1).
Villa have dropped eight points from winning positions this season, the second worst record in the top flight behind Wolves.
Referee: Mark Halsey Assistant referees: Paul Thompson & Glenn Turner Fourth official: Rob Shoebridge
Sunderland 1 - 0 Villa Every Sunderland fans mind will be on next weekend against Newcastle. However, the players need to continue their form in defence and learn to take their chances up front. This will be a hard game but one game where we can take all three points to push into the top 10.
The big one!
Yes, it is finally here!
Sunderland face the enemy on their turf at 1:30pm live on Sky and bragging rights can be claimed if victory is achieved.
Date:Friday October 22 2010
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