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Match preview: Sunderland v Villa

Donacien extends loan spell Happy New Year to all our fans across the globe
Match preview: Sunderland v Villa

MATCH DETAILS

Sunderland v Villa
Barclays Premier League
Stadium of Light
Saturday January 2 - KO 3pm
Referee: Craig Pawson.

TEAM NEWS

Jores Okore could return for the trip to Sunderland.

But Gabby Agbonlahor and Carlos Sanchez are both doubts.

Okore has been in good form since returning to the side for the Southampton encounter.

Agbonlahor is struggling with a back problem and hasn't been training.

Sanchez, meanwhile, came off against West Ham with a hamstring issue.

The midfielder missed the Canaries encounter and is set to be absent at the Stadium of Light as he continues his recovery.

Meanwhile, the Black Cats are struggling in the defensive department.

Sebastian Coates is a doubt after limping off against Liverpool.

With Younes Kaboul (hamstring) sidelined, manager Sam Allardyce will hope captain John O'Shea (calf) can return, but midfielder Jack Rodwell (hamstring) is set to miss to miss out.

Garde

DUGOUT ANALYSIS

Rémi Garde

It is a very important game but this is not the last chance we will have to be fair.

There are still a lot of points to be done. Let's see what happens.

We will go there to win.

I want my team to have the best spirit they can have - everyone in this club, particularly me and the players - have to show the best we can do.

I am sure the players will be very, very committed.

Sam Allardyce

What we have to do is play our best against Aston Villa and win.

 That's the real nerve-tester - and we must keep our nerve.

Even though they have had a couple more days to get ready, we have to make sure we are ready physically and mentally to go out there and get the three points.

We have to keep going, we have to keep believing.

We have to keep our nerve and make sure we are ready for our big clash on Saturday.

Veretout

PLAYER VERDICT

Jordan Veretout

We were good against West Ham but just couldn't make that extra breakthrough to win the game.

Now that's in the past.

We must start again, look at it as a new beginning - and hit the ground running.

If we can produce our best form and win at Sunderland that will give us a huge boost heading into the other games in January.

If we can have a very productive January, that would set us up for a very exciting end to the season.

Jermain Defoe

As a forward you do think about that teams that you have score against and for some reason that seems to happen all the time so hopefully I can make it nine and if I score and win the game and we get three points then that's the most important thing.

People always talk about New Year's resolutions and I suppose as a team we can sit down and say it's a new year and a new start.

Let's stick together and fight between now and the end of the season.

AVTV DON'T MISS

Rémi Garde press conference - WATCH HERE

INFORMATION FOR AWAY FANS

Check out Sunderland's VISITING FANS GUIDE here.

You can also take a look at the Stadium of Light FAN ZONE details.

MATCH STATS

Villa have lost none of the last nine Barclays Premier League meetings with Sunderland (W4 D5).

The Villans have won the last three encounters at the Stadium of Light without conceding a goal.

Scott Sinclair scored both of Aston Villa's goals in their 2-2 draw with Sunderland earlier this season.

Gabriel Agbonlahor has scored five goals in his last five Premier League appearances against Sunderland and four in the last three at the Stadium of Light.

Villa are without a win in 18 matches (D5 L13); extending their longest ever winless run in their league history.

Sunderland have conceded just three goals in their five Premier League home games under Sam Allardyce, but all three of these goals have contributed to 0-1 defeats.

The Black Cats have failed to score in six of the last eight Premier League games against Villa.

Sunderland 640

LIVE COVERAGE

Follow the game against Sunderland with us on Saturday.

Tune in and be part of the conversation as we bring you coverage from Stadium of Light.

You can JOIN US HERE from 2pm.

During the match, you can follow the action and interact with Paul Brown, Emily Liles and Dan Harrison.

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By @AVFCOfficial 31st December 2015