Aston Villa at Sunderland: Win a signed shirt from all the players, team news, a bet or two, updates and the banter

This is going to be an interesting game. We can win, we could lose and we would also be happy with a point. When I say we, I mean the collective, I'm not sure if I would be that happy, but still, you've got to take all you can get.

If we get the win, we go level on points. If we don't get the win, we face the real possibility of getting dragged into the bottom three. The League Cup is nice, but Premier League is the most important thing and it is matches like this, playing teams that we can beat, where we need to start to see the corner getting turned.

So, it will be interesting and I think one thing is for sure; both managers are going to have their players up for it and in particular, there will be two players up for it a little more than usual.

And in honor of those two, both players that I never wanted to see leave Aston Villa and both players that Martin O'Neill seemed to not rate that much (despite paying an awful lot of cash for Cuellar), I'm changing my usual bet of the day.

Bet and competition of the day

Betting on who will win or lose isn't much fun for Aston Villa fans at the moment, so I had a little look around last night on the other bets you can place and instead of betting on who will win or lose, I've found odds of 8/1 10/1 that both Gardner and Cuellar pick up yellow cards at so that is where my fiver is going today. Gardner already has four this season and I fully expect him to pick up another today - it is all about King Carlos.

But that is just for fun and to make the game a little interesting for me. To make it interesting for you, all I need you to do is predict the score and if you get it right, you get your name entered into a hat to win a signed, by the entire team, Aston Villa shirt, courtesy of our friends over at EA Sports.

So, use the comment form below and if you get it right, you stand a chance of winning, quite literally, the shirt.

Updates, team news and banter

So, with all that behind us for now and kick off a good few hours away, we are left with the banter. As Usual, there will be regular updates here and on Twitter, team news as soon as we get it, although I'm usually beaten to it here.

And because we've made a few changes - please register and login when commenting - this means you get your own Gravatar avatar and also you get to see all you comments in one place, as well as how many likes you've got. Basically, we're setting up a profile section on the blog.