ASTON Villa head to the Stadium of Light defending an impressive recent record away to Sunderland.
Since the Black Cats returned to the Premier League in 2007, Villa have visited Wearside eight times, seven in the league, and lost just once.
The only Sunderland victory even had a touch of fortune about it, with a spectacular Richard Dunne own goal - he volleyed a Steed Malbranque cross past helpless keeper Brad Friedel - clinching all three points in the 2010-11 campaign, as Steve Bruce’s men temporarily climbed to seventh place in the table.
Other than that, Sunderland have picked up just two points from draws - Stephane Sessegnon’s last-gasp strike securing a 2-2 draw in 2011/12, and Danny Higginbotham notching in a 1-1 scoreline in 2007.08.
Sunderland also dominated a goalless League Cup tie, with Kieran Richardson passing up a great chance of a winner, with Villa eventually progressing on penalties.
Villa have won on their two most recent visits, Gabriel Agnoblghor netting the winner on each occasion, while Emile Heskey and James Milner secured their 2-0 victory in 2009/10 and Milner and Gareth Barry struck as Villa came from behind, conceding to defender Danny Collins, to win 2-1 in 2008/09, despite having Ashley Young sent off.