There will only be one word to describe this fixture - tense. Both Gus Poyet and Tim Sherwood wear their heart on their sleeve, and their antics on the touchline make for a fascinating viewing - even if at times, their team fails to deliver.
Aston Villa will have a spring back in their step, however, having beaten West Brom twice in a week to move out of the relegation zone and reach an FA Cup semi-final. Sunderland, by contrast, have won just one league game since Christmas, have had their head coach charged by the FA with improper conduct and suspended their top scorer after he was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault.
Just one point separates these two sides on the cliff-face of the drop-zone.
KICK-OFF: Saturday, 3pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS:
Aston Villa 0-0 Sunderland, Premier League, December 2014
Sunderland 0-1 Aston Villa (Agbonlahor), Premier League, January 2014
Aston Villa 0-0 Sunderland, Premier League, November 2013
Aston Villa 13/5
Both of these teams are the lowest goalscoring teams in the league with Sunderland having netted 23 and Villa 15.
Gabriel Agbonlahor is the visitors’ joint top scorer with four goals but has netted just once since November.
Aston Villa 6-1 Sunderland - 2013
In April 2013, Christian Benteke slammed in a sensational hat-trick past a beleaguered Sunderland to record a resounding 6-1 win as Paul Lambert’s men eased their relegation fears. In doing so, the Belgian became the first Aston Villa player to record 18 Premier League goals in a single season.
TV: MOTD; Saturday March 15; 10.20pmReuse content