Aston Villa vs. Sunderland: ENGAGE PANIC DEVICES NOW (lineups and open match thread)

Shaun Botterill

The biggest game of the season so far has arrived. Lineups are here. Air sickness bags can be found in the back-of-seat pouch directly in front of you.

There's no point in talking about the implications of this game. You're no doubt aware. A win here shifts the odds of survival heavily in Villa's favor, while a loss or draw makes an end-of-season relegation showdown with Wigan is all the more likely. Villa manages to grab a win at the Stadium of Light when these two sides met back in November, but that's not especially relevant with all that's changed between then and now.

Lineups are below. Not many changes for Villa, and it looks like a 4-3-3 this time around. I'm not sure where the creativity is coming from in midfield, so it looks like one of those days that's going to require the strikers to pull off something special on their own. Here's hoping we get good Benteke today.

Aston Villa XI:
Brad Guzan; Matthew Lowton, Ron Vlaar, Nathan Baker, Joe Bennett; Ashley Westwood, Yacouba Sylla, Fabian Delph; Andreas Weimann, Christian Benteke, Gabriel Agbonlahor

Aston Villa Bench:
Shay Given, Brett Holman, Eric Lichaj, Darren Bent, Jordan Bowery, Charles N'Zogbia, Barry Bannan

Sunderland XI:
Simon Mignolet; Phil Bardsley, Carlos Cuellar, John O'Shea, Danny Rose; Adam Johnson, Craig Gardner, Alfred N'Diaye, Sebastian Larsson; Stephane Sessegnon, Danny Graham

Sunderland Bench:
Keiren Westwood, Matthew Kilgallon, Jack Colback, David Vaughn, Kader Mangane, James McLean, Mikael Mandron

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