Sunderland will be aiming to put their Capital One Cup failure against neighbours Middlesbrough behind them in Saturday's clash with Aston Villa at the Stadium of Light.
A defeat at the hands of Paul Lambert’s Aston Villa could see Sunderland fall as low as 17th in the table as the Black Cats have only one win and six draws from their opening eight fixtures.
It is a similar tale for Lambert with the Scot’s side currently languishing in 17th on six points.
The Birmingham club, who edged out League One outfit Swindon Town 3-2 in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday, have won just one of the their past 19 league matches.
KICK-OFF: Saturday, 3pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Aston Villa 0 Sunderland 0, Premier League, April 2012
Sunderland 2 (Wickham, Sessegnon) Aston Villa 2 (Petrov, Dunne), Premier League, October 2011
Aston Villa 0 Sunderland 1 (Bardsley), Premier League, January 2011
Alarmingly for Martin O'Neill, his charges have netted fewer goals than any other team in the league with six - 18 less than Manchester United, who have played one more game.
Villa will travel to Sunderland as outsiders, having not beaten their opponents in five attempts since 2009.
Sunderland to win: 2.00
Aston Villa to win: 3.60
TV: Highlights on BBC1 at 10.20pm