Sunderland will have to prevail at one of their least favoured grounds of recent times if they are to complete a rare league double over Aston Villa.
Aston Villa have not lost both league outings against Sunderland since 1983, but their 1-0 reverse at the Stadium of Light in October has made this a possibility this season.
However, Villa have only lost one of their last 12 home games with Sunderland and are 1/1 in the Premier League betting odds to secure a victory this season.
Sunderland may have only won one of their ten away games during the present campaign, but they may be overpriced at 11/4 to take victory from Villa Park, given the dismal recent form of the hosts.
Villa have gone ten games without keeping a clean sheet and have only won once in their last eight league matches.
But Sunderland struggle on the road in the top flight, winning just three of their last 39 Premier League away games.
Over/Under 2.5 goals
Villa may have been conceding goals for fun in the Premier League of late, but there is a strong possibility that their clash with Sunderland will see under 2.5 goals scored, which can be backed at 5/6.
Gerard Houllier’s team may have conceded a minimum of three goals in four of their last six games, but some confidence would have been gained by the 3-3 draw away at Chelsea and this should inspire them to tighten up.
Meanwhile, Sunderland do not let in many and have kept ten league clean sheets this season.
Furthermore, no more than two goals have been scored in the last four showdowns between Aston Villa and Sunderland or in 13 of the last 17 matches.
A £10 bet on the scorecast of Aston Villa beating Sunderland 2-0 and Emile Heskey scoring first could see a return of £280. New Ladbrokes customers can sign up here for a free £10 bet.