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Big Match Preview: Aston Villa away

City kick-off the New Year with a trip to Aston Villa (5.30pm kick-off).

They go in search of a return to winning ways after defeat to Wolves, while their hosts are looking to build on their  victory at Middlesbrough.

The two sides drew 1-1 when they last faced each other at Ashton Gate back in August.

Here's a look at Monday evening's opponents.

FACTFILE

Formed: 1874
Nickname: The Villans
Website: www.avfc.co.uk
Twitter: @AVFCOfficial
Ground: Villa Park
Capacity: 42,682

Honours:
Football League First Division 1893/94, 1895/96, 1896/97, 1898/99, 1899/1900, 1909/10, 1980/81
Football League Second Division 1937/38, 1959/60
Football League Third Division 1971/72
FA Cup 1886/87, 1894/95, 1896/97, 1904/05, 1912/13, 1919/20, 1956/57
League Cup 1960/61, 1974/75, 1976/77, 1993/94, 1995/96
FA Charity Shield 1981
European Cup 1981/82
European Super Cup 1982

Last season:
League finish: 13th in the Championship
FA Cup: Third round, lost to Tottenham Hotspur
EFL Cup: First round, lost to Luton Town
Top scorer: Jonathan Kodjia, 19 goals
Average attendance: 30,199

HOW DID THEY GET HERE?

Expectation is high at Villa Park that Steve Bruce’s men can secure a return to the Premier League at the second time of asking.

Serial promotion winner Bruce arrived two months into last season with a rebuilding job on his hands but having steadied the ship, his team now have loftier ambitions in their sights.

Villa have added no shortage of experience this summer, with ex-Premier League campaigners Glenn Whelan, Ahmed Elmohamady and Christopher Samba joining the headline-grabbing arrival of John Terry.

With established Championship stars Conor Hourihane, Henri Lansbury and Scott Hogan all recruited in the last year, it is a squad brimming with talent.

Villa currently sit just outside the play-off positions but are level on points with sixth-placed Sheffield United.

Steve Bruce has won promotion to the Premier League on four occasions

MEET THE GAFFER: STEVE BRUCE

The only manager to boast four promotions from the Sky Bet Championship, Bruce was appointed with the hope of making it five sooner rather than later.

Twice he achieved the feat on two separate occasions with two different clubs, Birmingham City and Hull City.

His links to the blue half of the Second City were quickly forgotten as Villa fans soon warmed to Bruce, but the recent defeat at Reading led to boos from the away end with their much-fancied team languishing on one point from their first three matches.

Since then, Villa have responded with eight goals in two games to underline their credentials as promotion contenders. History would suggest they have the right man in place to bring that promise to fruition.

Albert Adomah has proved his goalscoring abilities wherever he has played throughout his career

STAR MAN: Albert Adomah

The former City winger looks set to face his old side in the opening match of the new calendar year.

It was understood he would miss Villa's clash with Middlesbrough last week but Bruce put him straight into the starting XI. The 30-year-old bagged an assist, setting up the only goal of the game.

Adomah has been in great scoring form this season, having netted 12 goals - just one less than City's own Bobby Reid.

The Ghanaian international began his career at Barnet before he joined Bristol City for £140,000 in 2010.

He scored 17 times from 118 appearances across three years with City before he joined Boro in a £1m move.

Between 2013 and 2016 he scored a further 28 goals but called time on his Boro career in August of last year. He moved to Aston Villa for the start of the 2016/17 season where he has scored 15 goals from 62 appearances.

MEMORABLE MEETING: 1978/79

BRISTOL CITY 1-0 ASTON VILLA
Rodgers 66

City continue their encouraging start to their third year back in the First Division as David Rodgers’ second-half header secures victory at Ashton Gate.

A developing Villa team, European Cup winners three seasons later, are overrun by a City side playing with more fluency than in previous years.

Manager Alan Dicks hands a debut to teenage winger Howard Pritchard, who provides the cross for Rodgers to head home City’s winner in the 66th minute.

It would prove a successful year for Dicks’ side, who defeat both Manchester United and Liverpool en route to finishing 13th in the top flight. It remains City’s highest league position for more than a century.

Bristol City: Shaw, Gillies, Rodgers, Hunter, Whitehead, Pritchard, Sweeney, Tainton, Mann, Ritchie, Royle.

Aston Villa: Rimmer, Gidman, McNaught, Mortimer, Smith, Shelton (Shaw), Evans, Little, Carrodus, Cowans, Gregory.

Attendance: 23,881.

AND FINALLY...

Officials
Referee: Andy Davies
Assistant Referees: Timothy Wood and Paul Hodskinson
Fourth Official: Tony Harrington

Betting (via Sky Bet)
Villa 11/10
Draw 12/5
City 12/5

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