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Aston Villa v Birmingham City: Team news, banter, live updates, links and Sunday speculation

It is just a little over three hours until kick off and seeing as not everyone can be at Villa Park, we will be doing our best to bring you updates, team news and anything else throughout the day that we find or you tell us about.

Getting straight to the point, we need to win this game. There is no excuse that will be accepted if we do not win and if we do not win, we do not expect to hear any excuses. We play a smaller club, we less talented players that couldn't make it here and we have to win.

But Gerard Houllier knows this and I think, don't quote me on this as my research is very limited, he only lost one Merseyside derby, so all things point to him knowing how to get players up for this type of game.

Pre-match banter

Craig Gardner gets the attention today. We made him a wealthy man and he nailed his colours to claret and blue mast and as soon as an opportunity came about for him to make more money and jump ship, like a rat, he took it. He then nailed his colours to that mast as if nothing happened and guess what, they believed it, because they wanted to believe.

Today he is talking the talk, like so many before him, of hope and stupidity. But they have to have hope - they have nothing else.

We're the underdogs at the minute. Villa have been the top team for the last few years. Now we're moving up the table and doing well every week. Last season we finished really high and we're looking to improve on that. Villa are looking over their shoulders now, and so they should be. There is the potential to become the city's top team.

I'd like Villa to be underdogs and Blues to be above them. Time will tell won't it? But it would be amazing if we did finish above them this year because then we could give them six or seven years of stick all in one year.

You have to love it don't you. Those words will inspire another generation into believing that one day soon that the club they support will be the biggest club in the City.

The reality is that West Brom and Wolves are bigger than The Clowns but that is where they saying comes from about feeding shit to pigs.

Live updates

As usual, Twitter will be getting updated a lot today and the comments box here might get busy too. You can also get the game online at Villa Streams and I have no doubt links will get added below as well as updates from others.

So, drop your links, predict your team and take the piss out of the Clowns from down the road. Today is going to be a good day.


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Team News

Friedel, Young, Dunne, Clark, Collins, Warnock, Downing, Reo-Coker, Sidwell, Webcam and Heskey.

On the bench: Guzan, Ireland, Carew, Delfouneso, Cuellar, Bannan and Lichaj.