Sunderland welcome Aston Villa to the Stadium of Light to start the second half of the season in 2014, with both sides needing three points; Paul Lambert’s side are just 4 points above the relegation zone, while Sunderland sit bottom of the pile.
It’s unsure whether Fabio Borini will be available for the game due to his condition during half-time against Cardiff City. Christian Benteke and Ron Vlaar face late fitness tests for the trip up to the North East.
Only Sunderland and Fulham have a worse home record than Aston Villa in the Premier League this season (W2 D1 L6)
Villa have gained 12 points away from home this season, the eighth best away record in the Premier League.
Sunderland have won by one goal to nil in their last three wins against Aston Villa.
Ki Sung-Yeung and Fabian Delph
In what has been an underwhelming season for both sides – especially for the Black Cats – despite both sides beating Manchester City at home, these two midfielders have been the bright sparks for Sunderland and Aston Villa.
Defensively, Delph has the edge over his midfield opponent so far this season, averaging a 64% ground 50-50 win – a ground 50-50 battle every 7.09 minutes, compared to Ki’s 54% ground 50-50 win, a ground 50-50 battle every 12.76 minutes. Delph has completed 78% of his 52 tackles, while Ki has completed 84% of his 25 tackles. The Villa midfielder averages a tackle every 27 minutes, with his opponent averaging a tackle every 47 minutes. Delph conquers Ki in terms of the ability to read the game so far this season also, with Delph accumulating 35 interceptions to Ki’s 13.
In the creative department, Ki has the edge over Delph in terms of chances created (17 to 13), but Delph boasts one assist. Delph also likes to put the defender on the back foot, attempting 47 dribbles, and successfully completing 34; whereas Ki has attempted just 14, although after successfully completing 13 – the South Korean could incorporate this more into his game.
In terms of passing zones, Ki wins this battle, boasting 93% [defensive], 87% [attacking] and 88% [final 3rd] in the three zones, whereas Fabian Delph pales in comparison; 90% in the defensive zone, 73% attacking and 68% in the final 3rd.