Just as things look like they can’t get any worse for Aston Villa they have to welcome league leaders Manchester City to Villa Park.
Remi Garde, the Premier League’s sixth permanent French boss, will be in the dugout for his first match in charge of Villa, and his side face the ultimate test.
The Villans have lost their last seven league games, have failed to win at home and are rooted to the bottom of the table.
Garde’s new side have scored only three goals at home all season with two of those coming in a 2-2 draw against Sunderland in August.
They’ve also lost seven of their last eight league games to City and have failed to score in five of the past seven meetings.
Tottenham were the latest team to beat Villa on Monday night, but Jordan Ayew did score for the second successive league match; a run of form from the Ghanaian is just what the Midlands side need.
Meanwhile, City have scored 26 on their way to the top of the Premier League and return from a confidence boosting Champions League win at Sevilla on Tuesday.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side have picked up 10 points from their five away matches to date; their only defeat on the road coming at Spurs in September.
One crumb of comfort for Villa fans is that City have only kept one clean sheet in their last 12 matches, though this stat is countered against the fact that the visitors have scored 23 in their last seven matches in all competitions.
Micah Richards returns from his one-match ban to face his former club, while Ashley Westwood is also expected to be fine after suffering a head injury at White Hart Lane.
Gabby Agbonlahor is a doubt but Idrissa Gueye and Adama Traore should return.
City are still missing Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Samir Nasri and Pablo Zabaleta through injury,
Fabian Delph returns to his former club for the first time since his controversial summer switch but is expected to continue on the bench.
League Position: Aston Villa – 20th (4 pts); Man City – 1st (25 pts)
Last Meeting: Man City 3-2 Aston Villa, April 2015
Key Men: Aston Villa – Jordan Ayew; Man City – Kevin de Bruyne
Form: Aston Villa – LLLLLL; Man City – LLWWDW
Shoot Says: Aston Villa 0-2 Man City