The Villa Appetiser: Aston Villa v Sunderland 2017
If Villa needed a performance to prove the Sheffield Wednesday defeat was a one-off, we certainly saw it this weekend.
It was the first time Villa had come from a goal down to win since August 2013 and a win that suggested we can cope without our injured players – at least for now.
It’s a game that on paper looks like a home win. But when is it ever that easy? Coleman’s arrival could give Sunderland a boost.
Can we prevent Coleman from making a winning start to his Sunderland career?
5th in the league table with the 9th best home record
Last five matches at home: W 3, D 1, L 1
24th in league table with 18th best away record
Last five matches away: D 3, L 2
Bruce on injuries
“It’s never easy when you’ve got your big players out but we’ve seen enough from the team [against QPR].
“The question is: can they go and repeat it again?
“We’re at home on Tuesday night and it’s up to us to put in a performance.”
and on Adomah
“It just gets better.
“He wasn’t in the team to start with but he never moaned and groaned – simply knocked on my door and said he’d prove me wrong.
“Look how right he’s been.
“He had a good chance in the first half, scored his penalty and took his second goal excellently.
“We’ve played him on the left where he’s more comfortable and cuts in.
“He’s been terrific.”
Coleman on Villa
“We can’t ask for too much.
“Villa are doing very well, top six and I expect them to succeed this season because Brucie is doing a good job there.
“We have our own mission if you like.
“We have only been here 24 hours but you have to start somewhere. We haven’t been able to change too much.
“We have played 17 games, you don’t get relegated after that amount of games.
“We are where we are. With ten games to go and if we are in the same position then we will be in a relegation battle, but there’s time to improve, we are standing on the edge of a cliff and we need to move backwards.”
26 April 1975 – Villa 2 Sunderland 0
The last time we met Sunderland in the second division took place in a memorable season for Villa fans.
A penalty from Ian Ross and a goal from Brian Little brought Villa the victory.
The win for Ron Saunders’ team, in front of a crowd of 57,266, meant Villa had secured promotion.
One to Watch
Lewis Grabban – Despite Sunderland being at the foot of the table, the former Norwich and Bournemouth man is the second top scorer in the Championship, having scored nine goals for Sunderland this season.
our last three games against sunderland at villa park have been draws
Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet
When you think of games against Sunderland at Villa Park, the first that springs to mind is the 6-1 victory in Paul Lambert’s first campaign.
Since that game, however, this fixture hasn’t always been quite as exciting, and our last three home matches against Tuesday’s opponents have ended all square.
Chris Coleman is a good appointment for Sunderland and worked wonders with Wales. Climbing up the table won’t be easy, but it’s likely there will be some sort of upturn in form.
The ex-Fulham manager has said his Sunderland players will need to show “heart” and “courage” but the first thing he’ll look to do will be to stop conceding goals.
This could mean a defensive approach for the visitors on Tuesday – a scenario we sometimes struggle to deal with at Villa Park.
Interestingly, despite their place at the very bottom of the table, Sunderland have picked up a couple of decent draws away from home. They need wins of course – but taking a point from games against Brentford (3-3) and Preston (2-2) show that they have been finding the net.
In our last 3 matches against Sunderland in all competitions, we’ve seen over 2.5 goals – so it might not necessarily be the stalemate that previous encounters at Villa Park suggest…
“Villa are doing very well, top six and I expect them to succeed this season because Brucie is doing a good job there” – coleman ON VILLA
Why Villa Have Got This Game in the Bag
Ex-Villa player Simon Grayson’s sacking was inevitable, but Sunderland clearly have bigger problems than the manager.
Despite getting big money for Pickford in the summer, their transfer spend was very low. Signings were made, but they mainly consisted of free agents and loans.
As well as Pickford, Sunderland offloaded keeper Mannone to Reading. This has paved the way for Robbin Ruiter, signed from Utrecht on a free transfer, to take the no. 1 jersey.
Ruiter has had a difficult start to his Sunderland career, and was at fault for both goals against Millwall in the 2-2 draw this weekend.
It’s possible that Jason Steele will replace Ruiter on Tuesday, but clearly things just aren’t going right for Sunderland, and a change of manager may not necessarily be enough to turn the tide.
Sunderland’s away form is not quite as bad as you’d expect from a team bottom of the table, but they’ve struggled on the road, with a 5-2 defeat to Ipswich in September standing out. Unsurprisingly, they’ve failed to keep a clean sheet away from home this season.
Coleman said in a pre-match interview that he has not had time to change too much at Sunderland, so it may even be too early for the new manager effect to take place…
Villa on the other hand have shown an admirable resilience in the face of squad absences and have two tough home games this week.
Some fans have called the Loftus Road display our best performance of the season, and if we can continue this momentum on Tuesday night against Sunderland, the three points could be ours.
Hopefully we can make up for our off day the last time we were at Villa Park.
Follow Lewis on Twitter – @rymondfootball
Follow MOMS on Twitter – @oldmansaid