Aston Villa - Manchester City: Four things to look out for as Villa begin life under Garde
Andreas Weimann celebrates the goal which secured Villa's last win against City

Manchester City are Aston Villa's opponents this weekend, as the Villans begin life under Rémi Garde with a tough looking home game.

Having lost seven league games in a row, confidence is at rock bottom on Villa park, and few are predicting them to turn things around against the team top of the league. But what should you be looking out for in the game?

What team will Garde pick?

There's always a certain source of intrigue when a new manager comes in, regarding which team he picks for his first game. Will he stick to players who have been used in previous games, or will he select a completely different looking side, based on what he's seen in training this week?

It remains to be seen where Garde sticks with a Villa team which has been subject to some rotation this season, or if he completely overhauls it. Interestingly, none of the foreign signings made this summer were picked by interim manager Kevin MacDonald for Monday's loss against Tottenham Hotspur.

This came as a surprise, with talented individuals such as Jordan Ayew, Idrissa Gueye and Jordan Amavi all relegated to the bench. Garde has knowledge of those specific three from his time in Ligue 1, so they might be back into the starting 11 on Sunday.

How will Delph, Richards and Sinclair be recieved?

There's a few players likely to feature on Sunday that have played for both clubs, with all the moves coming this summer.

Team captain Micah Richards and top scorer Scott Sinclair both transferred from Manchester to the Midlands during the off-season, and it's doubtful that the home fans will allow the travelling fans to give them any stick, nor will the away fans want to, against a pair who always represented the Citizens well.

However, things may be slightly different for a certain Fabian Delph. Villa's then captain was subject of a bid from City this summer, but appeared to be staying after releasing a statement suggesting that he had no intention to leave the club. However, a huge u-turn saw him leave less than a week later after City unlocked his £8million release clause, something which is still fresh in the memory for Villa fans.

It's likely that he'll get more than a few boo's aswell as some verbal abuse during and before the game, which he'll expect. It's up to Delph to deliver a performance to silence the home fans, which he's more than capable of giving.

Can the Villans stop the rot?

It's already been mentioned, but Aston Villa really are quite poor at the moment. To lose seven league games in a row really isn't an easy task, it takes a special type of poor form. During those seven games, also known as 630 minutes, they've been ahead in just 37 minutes of those matches.

Saturday's results saw Bournemouth slide into the relegation zone, as Newcastle United's victory over the Cherries moved them up into 17th on 10 points. That's left Villa in even more danger, already six points away from safety. However, they're only 10 points form 13th, meaning that a run of good results could lift them up to a healthy mid-table position.

Although they've lost seven league games in a row, the Villans are still some way off the most consecutive league losses in Premier League history. That record stretches back to Sunderland's 15 consecutive defeats in the 2002/03 season, so it'd take another eight losses to tie up with that record. Either way, it's one that Villa don't want to associate themselves with, and a rot they must attempt to stop on Sunday.

Will Villa begin to show an identity to their play?

During Tim Sherwood's tenure, one complaint of Villa was very often that they had no identity to their play, constantly going from one game to the next with little sign of a consistent playing style of tactical plan.

Although the constant selection of target men such as Christian Benteke and Rudy Gestede indicated that it was going to be a pro-crossing style, Sherwood was often quoted as saying he wanted Villa to get the ball on the floor, and play attractive passing football.

Much of this led to his downfall, as Villa struggled to become a team that had a way of playing that would threaten the oppositon. Under Garde though, things may be different. He's only managed at Lyon before, so is used to handling quality players, and may want to promote quick passing and movement, which would potentially suit the likes of Jack Grealish and Carles Gil.

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