Preview: Aston Villa vs. Sunderland

Preview: Aston Villa vs. Sunderland
© 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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4Aston Villa27138639241547
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12Norwich CityNorwich28117102831-340
13Ipswich TownIpswich27123124039139
14Queens Park RangersQPR2789103137-633
15Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest27102153343-1032
16Millwall27710102930-131
17Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds27710103034-431
18Reading2778123035-529
19Barnsley2769122737-1027
20Hull City27510123944-525
21Bolton WanderersBolton2767142545-2025
22Burton Albion2766152146-2524
23Birmingham CityBirmingham2765161538-2323
24Sunderland27410132947-1822
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