Preview: Aston Villa vs. Sunderland

Martin O'Neill
© PA Photos
Martin O'Neill returns to former club Aston Villa for the first time this weekend as Sunderland look to get back to winning ways.

Martin O'Neill returns to former club Aston Villa for the first time this weekend as Sunderland look to claim their first win in four matches.

The Irishman shocked many when he abruptly left the Midlands club in August 2010 after four years in charge.

The team that he comes up against on Saturday is in stark contrast to the one he departed two years ago as Villa are hoping to secure their Premier League survival.

With one win in their last six, Alex McLeish's side have been dragged into a relegation battle.

However, three points against the Black Cats would see them all but book their place in the top flight for next season.

Marc Albrighton, Chris Herd, Ciaran Clark and Stephen Warnock are all expected to return for the hosts, while O'Neill has hinted that he may throw some younger players into the team for the remaining few games of the campaign.

Current form:

Aston Villa: WLLDDL
Sunderland: LWDDLD

Possible lineups:

Aston Villa: Given; Hutton, Collins, Clark, Warnock; Albrighton, Herd, Ireland, Bannan; Agbonlahor, Weimann

Sunderland: Mignolet; Bardsley, Turner, Kilgallon, Richardson; Larsson, Gardner, Vaughan, McClean; Sessegnon, Bendtner

Sports Mole says: 0-1

Martin O'Neill
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