With Wigan drawing against Tottenham Hotspur on the weekend, Aston Villa's buffer outside the relegation zone is currently two points. A win would extend that to five, though Wigan will be left with a game in hand on the Villains.
Sunderland are currently three points better off than Villa, with new manager Paolo Di Canio having instigated a fightback from the Black Cats. They've strung together two wins for the first time this year, and a third consecutive victory would see them move above Fulham and into 11th place.
For Villa, Chris Herd, Marc Albrighton and Richard Dunne are all out injured, while Joe Bennett is in doubt after he limped out of the 3-0 defeat at Manchester United last Monday. Sunderland's long-term absentees Lee Cattermole, Steven Fletcher and Wes Brown could be joined on the sidelines by Titus Bramble, Connor Wickham and Phil Bardsley.
Aston Villa injuries and suspensions
Out: Chris Herd (foot), Marc Albrighton (foot), Richard Dunne (groin) In doubt: Joe Bennett (ankle)
Sunderland injuries and suspensions
Out: Lee Cattermole (knee), Steven Fletcher (ankle), Wes Brown (knee) In doubt: Titus Bramble (calf), Connor Wickham (knock), Phil Bardsley (ankle)
Match Date\Time: Monday, 8 p.m. local, 3 p.m. ET
Venue: Villa Park, Birmingham, England
TV: Fox Soccer Channel (U.S. English), FOX Deportes (U.S. Spanish), Sky Sports 1/HD (U.K.)