Aston Villa skipper Ron Vlaar says Sunderland boss Paolo di Canio is facing the gauntlet tonight at Villa Park.

Villa fans are angry with gestures from the Italian after their Capital One Cup clash with Swindon Town earlier this season.

Vlaar said: "If that happened then I think the fans would not forget it and that could be in our favour.

"It is obvious there is new spirit in the Sunderland team and they have won the last two games with good results.

"They come to Villa Park now and we are confident we can win the game. I think with the fans behind us it is going to be a good game.

"He is really enthusiastic. It is not distracting because you are just focused on the game, you are not looking to the manager of the other team or the crowd."