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Our panel give their views on the Carling Cup clash with Villa GORDON MABON IF we have genuine aspirations to move on to the next level, then the next two games this week will go a long way to indicating if we are able to. Tonight has the hallmarks of being a cracking encounter, with the prize of a quarter-final tie being pricless. For once we aren't resting anyone in a cup game, but this is not through choice as we start to see we are a little bereft of cover in certain departments, while our opponents seem to have adequate cover. On the night, though, I feel it will be down to who wants it the most - fingers crossed it's us.

PREDICTION: Sunderland on penalties JOHN HOUGHTON VILLA are on the fringe of a becoming Premier League big fish, so hopefully that and a chance of going into the quarterfinals of the competition will be enough to motivate the lads. They were awful on Saturday and owe the fans (yet again) a good display. Villa, like us, have stated that they have their eyes on this competition, so I would expect two strong teams for what should be a good cup match. I'm not a McCartney fan but I think he should play so that Richardson can move back into midfield and give us a bit more in attack. Jones did not look up for it on Saturday and needs to be shown this attitude will not be tolerated, so bench him Steve and give Campbell a chance!

PREDICTION: Sunderland by a goal JENNIE JACKSON A WIN tonight would see us in the last eight of the Carling Cup, and I think this is an opportunity we must grasp with both hands. Our home form this year is exceptional and I don't see any reason why we can't keep it going. Personally, I don't rate Aston Villa and I find Martin O'Neill really hard to stomach - he totally gets on my nerves! So for that reason alone, please let us beat them, to shut him up!

PREDICTION: Sunderland 2 Villa 0 STEPHEN HUTCHINSON I RECKON Steve Bruce has rattled a few cages since Saturday so I expect a positive reaction from our players. Whether we are good enough to win tonight well we will have to wait and see - you just cannot predict the outcome because of the changes expected from both teams. We are the home team, this is our advantage and I expect goals both ways. I am glad our manager thinks this cup is worth going for - that's fair to the fans who pay to go. Now it's down to the players - can they do it? Let's hope so. Have faith, even if you don't know what's coming next from our lads.

PREDICTION: Sunderland to win CHRIS FLYNN AFTER Saturday's debacle, this is a chance to get that result out of our system with a good win against Aston Villa. It's a cuptie, so anything can happen, but if we play as well as we have in our last five home games then we are more than capable of winning. Villa are a good side but if we want to progress in this competition, we will have to beat the better teams. Teamwise, I am pleased that Steve Bruce is taking the competition seriously but we will have to make a couple of changes due to injuries, with Campbell coming in for Bent being the main one.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 27, 2009
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