Tuesday, January 4, 2011

We resolve to put the crap behind us: Villa v Sunderland, 5 January 2011; Sheffield United v. Villa (FA Cup), 8 January 2011

After punctuating an ultimately disappointing 2010 (losses in both our appearances at Wembley, fading out of the race for fourth, the James Milner transfer saga, MON walking, getting bounced out of the Carling Cup by the Clowns, 3-0 at Anfield, and the resultant slide down the table) with even more disappointing losses to Spurs and Manchester City, Villa started the New Year with a hard-fought 3-3 draw at Stamford Bridge.  Ciaran Clark had a stormer playing at left back in place of Stephen Warnock, setting up Nigel-Reo-Coker to draw an equalizing penalty in the first half before adding the stoppage-time equalizer, and Brad Friedel rolled back the years in turning away several dangerous Chelsea chances.

In hopes of making that draw a true dawn, Villa welcome Sunderland to B6.  The previous fixture this season saw Sunderland win 1-0 through a Richard Dunne own goal.  Villa will be without Luke Young, who is still battling a knee injury, and Fabian Delph, who also picked up a slight knee injury in the match with Tottenham.

Not a bar in the capital will have the Sunderland match, so you're on your own to catch it at 2:40 p.m. EST on espn3.com.

At the weekend, Villa travels to Bramall Lane to take on Sheffield United in the third round of the FA Cup.  The Blades currently sit just above the relegation zone in the Championship, and has gone through its own change in management.

The Capital Villans will be at Fado for that match, which will be shown at 10:00 a.m.

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