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AVFC vs. Manchester City CONFIRMED lineups: Benteke's back!

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Aston Villa host Manchester City for the first time since last year's 3-2 stunner. Can the Villans repeat the magic?

Jan Kruger

I don't want to say that today's match is unimportant, or that Aston Villa shouldn't try, but we all probably have low expectations for what's about to happen. And in reality, that's a good thing. If Aston Villa lose, we were expecting it. If they draw, that's awesome. And if they win -- as they did in this fixture last season -- well, we'll all be ecstatic. There's something sort of relaxing about a match like this, really. Yes, it'd be nice to avoid a third straight loss (after starting the season by avoiding those for four matches), but Villa sit at 10 points through 6 matches and are better off than we could have hoped at this point.

Plus, there's some chance for real fun here. Christian Benteke is supposed to be back, and the merest possibility of an upset at Villa Park should give you some pep in your step. So, join us for the open thread all the way below. We've got lineups as well, and we'll be around for post-match coverage too. If you need something to read while you wait, check out Aaron's match preview.

And if you're in the US, this match will be on honest-to-god NBC. None of that cable stuff. Just pure, beautiful, broadcast coverage. Enjoy, and UTV!

Aston Villa starting XI

Brad Guzan, Alan Hutton, Philippe Senderos, Nathan Baker, Aly Cissokho, Fabian Delph, Ashley Westwood, Tom Cleverley, Kieran Richardson, Charles N'Zogbia, Gabby Agbonlahor (out with illness), Andi Weimann

Aston Villa bench

Shay Given, Leandro Bacuna, Ciaran Clark, Carlos Sanchez, Darren Bent, Andi Weimann, Christian Benteke, Jack Grealish

Manchester City starting XI

Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany, Eliaquim Mangala, Aleksandar Kolarov, James Milner, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, David Silva, Edin Dzeko, Sergio Aguero

Manchester City bench

Francisco Fernando, Stevan Jovetic, Bacary Sagna, Jesus Navas, Martin Demichelis, Frank Lampard, Willy Caballero