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Match Preview: the Mackems Away


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Who is next on our travels - yes a trip to the frozen North.

In a week when it's not been nice for brass monkeys Villa set off to face a serious relegation candidate. This is a game that should we have true ambitions about reaching Europe next season we have to look for a full three points. Given our current records at home and away I think this should be achievable and might be good for the players.


All of the pre match talk will undoubtedly surround the appointment of Fabio Capello as England manager, whose appointment I celebrate as it means MO’N can finish what he has started and also because I think he is the best man for the job bar none.

Kick Off ?

Kick off is another of those rarities these days at 3PM on a Saturday.

What is the history between the two sides?

For two clubs so far apart, there is a fair amount of history wrapped up in both clubs. Sunderland, who despite not having a history quite as rich as ours are seen somewhat like the North East’s version of B-lose, always in the shadow of their nearest neighbour, pesky media. This is very harsh as at least Sunderland have won things and their fans seem quite a nice bunch (indeed my best man is a Mackem fan). We first played them in December 1890! And in the subsequent 150 league games we are ahead 63-50 on wins.

Recent history shows us performing the double of them as they yo-yo in 2005/06, a good 3-1 win with all the goals coming in the second half, with goals from Phillips, Barry and Baros tying up the points before Whitehead got a consolation Pen in the last minute.

What’s the team news?

Villa have a only one fitness doubt, Petrov, he ha to remain a doubt as nothing has been heard of any progress on the injury.

Sunderland have a few injuries from Carlos Edwards who joined Kieran Richardson and Nosworthy on the sidelines this week. Add in to this Miller is suspended and not the best quality squad looks very weak.

What’s the Prediction?

Just like the Boro game this is the sort of game that Villa simply have to win if we really are aiming for Europe. I shall go for a 2-1 win, with goals from Gareth Barry and Martin Laursen. With my hard earned going on the latter for 1st goal at 33/1, he owes us after those misses last week.

Why Should We Beat Them?

Thoughts of Sunderland bring to my mind two managers – Bob Stokoe and Keane – one one whom brings back childhood memories of 1973 and ‘little plucky’ Sunderland beating the ‘mighty’ Leeds, a gentleman. The other, one of those people who I dislike immensely not only for the Haaland challenge, but the way he used to intimidate refs. I find it very strange how so many people seem to revere him nowadays as some of excellent upcoming manager but if he gets the job at ManUre will become despised once more.

For him being there I want them to go down, not their fans who are fine but simply because of him…

... and the badge kissing traitor that will no doubt play in midfield for them.

oh and to be honest they're not very good are they!

Why Should We Like Them?

A former big club looking to revisit old glories; big fan base; Ambitious Irish manager what’s not to like especially as these days they are not competition to us.

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