Last Updated at 5:33 pm, October 29th 2011
FULL TIME: A frantic conclusion at the Stadium of Light after Richard Dunne had restored Villa's lead with five minutes remaining but Stephane Sessegnon was allowed plenty of time to head home from close-range to rescue a point. It wasn't to be a dream return for striker Darren Bent. Stiliyan Petrov opened the scoring before Connor Wickham's leveller just before the break. Superb entertainment!
GOAL: Sunderland 2 (Stephane Sessegnon 89) Aston Villa 2.
YELLOW CARD: Richard Dunne is now booked for holding onto the ball.
SUBSTITUTION: Marc Albrighton replaces Charles N'Zogbia for Villa.
YELLOW CARD: Stephen Warnock is booked for a rash challenge on Sessegnon.
GOAL: Sunderland 1 Aston Villa 2 (Richard Dunne 85).
SUBSTITUTION: David Meyler replaces David Vaughan as Sunderland make their third and final change.
YELLOW CARD: Gabby Agbonlahor is booked for a late tackle on Stephane Sessegnon.
Dave says: "Why does McLesh play Heskey in midfield when he has Steven Ireland, Fabian Delph and Barry Bannan, the best Xmas present any Villa fan could get would be for McLesh and Lerner to go."
YELLOW CARD: Phil Bardsley is booked for a late challenge on Gabby Agbonlahor.
Suraj is also anti-McLeish: "Totally agree with Matt's comments regarding Heskey in midfield. I'd rather have Pires again!McLeish seems to be unsackable, hated by the fans from day one, no change in opinion even when he loses. Wake up Randy."
Meanwhile, Lauren says: "Hopefully Connor Wickham can score a few more goals and show all the fans what talent he has to persue in the future at Sunderland."
Keren, a Black Cats fans says: "Hi Raz. Did Darren Bent really expect a warm welcome at Sunderland when he was thought so much of and supported wholeheartedly by the fans only he to just walk away. Loyalty works both ways and has to be earned!"
Matt has some strong words for Alex McLeish: "Well, McLeish is as predictable as ever with his dire tactics and selection. We are never gonna win any game or retain any chance of holding a lead in any game if McCleish insists in starting Heskey in midfield. I have no idea what, if anything, he is thinking. I dont think McLeish knows what he is doing, Really, I don't and I fear the worst."
SUBSTITUTION: Simon Mignolet looks as though he has broken his nose and is replaced by former Coventry City stopper Keiren Westwood.
Villa fan Callum says: "Hopefully Bent can score against his former club, and put these jeers to rest. He's a strong character, and has settled in well at the Villa."
HALF TIME: In an open first half, Villa broke the deadlock thanks to Stiliyan Petrov's wonderful left-foot curler from the edge of the area. And after Connor Wickham's header was cleared off the line by Stephen Warnock, the 18-year-old soon made up for his miss when he clinically dispatched Stephane Sessegnon's through ball seven minutes before the break.
SUBSTITUTION: John O'Shea is forced off with an hamstring injury and is replaced by Phil Bardsley.
Villa fan Steve has some strong words: "Boring, predictable. McCleish from Birmingham was not the problem. It's the type of manager we appointed who has no track record of attracting the sort of players needed to make us an attractive and outsde bet for the Championship. It shows our limited ambitions. Randy Lerner has appointed a safe manager whilst he assett strips and tries to sell. The sooner he goes the better."
Villa fan Dave says: "I think it's going to be another draw, I'm going for 1-1 Bent for Villa and no doubt ex Bluenose Larsson for the Mackems. We need to win with some tough fixtures against the big guns coming up otherwise we could find ourselves in trouble. Up the villa!"
Sunderland fan Jeff is keeping the faith: "Tight game today but I am predicting a 2-1 win for The Black Cats with goals from Bendtner and Wickham. The fans need to stay patient with the guys and I am convinced that we will win by the odd goal in three. After a tough game next against Man Utd, the lads have four winnable games that could rocket us up the table."
Jnotes is expecting a comfortable away win this afternoon, saying: "McLeish will want to be careful about the team he picks after those back to back losses. Villa to win 3-0. Bent to score twice and Agbonlahor."
Speaking of odds, let have a look at the betting ahead of the game. Sunderland are 11/10 to claim victory with SKY BET, who make Aston Villa 5/2 and the draw 23/10. Villa's Darren Bent is favourite to score the first goal at 5/1 while Gabby Agbonlahor is 12/1 to bag a brace. Meanwhile, the Black Cats' Nicklas Bendtner is a 6/1 shot for the hosts while Sebastian Larsson is 12/1. I'm going for a pre-match prediction of 2-2, which is 14/1. Head now to www.skybet.com to place your bets.
Barclays Premier League
|11||West Ham United||37||47|
|13||West Bromwich Albion||37||44|
|20||Queens Park Rangers||37||30|