How Aston Villa must line up when they face Sunderland on Tuesday

Aston Villa will look to continue their push for automatic promotion to the Premier League when they face Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday night.

The Villans currently lie in third position and four points adrift of second-place Cardiff City after picking up four points from the last nine available.

The Midlands outfit missed the opportunity to close the gap on the top two when their home match with Queens Park Rangers was postponed on Saturday because of the snow, and while that would have been a blow it has given some of their key players more time to regain their fitness after injury.

Steve Bruce will know that his team need to keep picking up wins if they are to get the return to the top flight that they are craving, and he will certainly take some solace from the fact that the Mackems are bottom of the Championship table and have the second worst home record in the division.

Bruce brought Mohamed Elmohamady, Glenn Whelan and Lewis Grabbban into the XI in their previous league game against Sheffield Wednesday, and the 57-year-old will be considering making changes against Chris Coleman’s men too given that his team weren’t at their best against the Owls despite running out 4-2 winners.

Here is how Aston Villa must line up against Sunderland on Tuesday to get a vital three points, ahead of Sam Johnstone in goal…