Aston Villa, with three points from three games, go into this match seeking a first home league win of the season in a fixture in which they have enjoyed plenty of success in recent seasons.
The Midlands are unbeaten against Sunderland since 2011, when Phil Bardsley netted the winner. And, in their last meeting – Villa’s 4-0 win at the Stadium of Light in March – it was the final straw for Gus Poyet, who was sacked in the aftermath of the humiliating defeat.
Adama Traore impressed on his debut at Selhurst Park last weekend and is set to feature despite having not trained since picking up a knock in Tuesday’s cup win over Notts County.
Traore and fellow winger Jack Grealish will be hoping to heap further misery on a vulnerable Sunderland defence which conceded three goals against League Two side Exeter on Tuesday, and have already shipped 11 in four matches.
For the visitors, who sit one from bottom of the division, new loanee Ola Toivonen is available, but a lack of match fitness means the ex-PSV man is likely to feature from the bench. The Swede will provide welcome competition for Jermain Defoe, who will be full of confidence after a midweek hat-trick.
Jeremain Lens and Billy Jones are both fit having sat out the midweek cup win, with Jones set to take the place of right-back Adam Matthews, who will miss the next six weeks with an ankle problem.
League Position: Aston Villa – 14th, 3pts; Sunderland – 19th, 1pt
Last Meeting: Sunderland 0-4 Aston Villa, 14th March 2015
Key Men: Aston Villa – Adama Traore; Sunderland – Jermain Defoe
Form: Aston Villa – WLL; Sunderland – LLD
Shoot Says: Aston Villa 1-0 Sunderland