How's this for a tough landing for Rémi Garde? His first match in the Premier League taking charge of a team with whom the word "struggling" doesn't want to associate and he has to face a Manchester City side who haven't been below second place since August. Comparing these two squads would be folly, as with their money and resources, City have built a club that is better in every way to what Aston Villa currently have.
But the interesting thing is that it all means nothing. City have lost twice this season, to Tottenham and perhaps even more embarrassingly to West Ham United. The match today is at Villa Park in front of a crowd who will be eager to cheer on a new manager, see their first home win of the season, and vehemently boo the returning Fabian Delph. The atmosphere will be there, and Villa could have a good day that coincides with a bad day from City. Stranger things have happened than Villa getting three points here.
Nevertheless, a win (or even a draw) remains unlikely. Don't put too much into the result today. Instead, look at how the team is responding to their new manager. How they're playing. Because after this, we get an international break that will give Garde plenty of time to start doing what he wants from the club.
It's been a while since I could genuinely say this, but I'm excited for what today has in store. Maybe it won't be the shock of a result, but it should be fun no matter what.
Location: Villa Park, Birmingham, England
Kick-off time: 1:30 PM GMT, 8:30 AM Eastern, 5:30 AM Pacific
Available TV: Sky Sports 1 (UK), NBCSN (US), NBC Universo (US)
Available streaming: NBC Sports Live Extra (US), SKY GO Extra (UK), Sky Go UK (UK), NOW TV UK (UK)
Available radio: TalkSport Radio (UK), AVTV (subscription required), Westwood One Sports (US)
For listings in other countries, check out LiveSoccerTV.com.