Dunne- Desire key to derby success

Dunne made his Villa debut in the clash between the two rivals at St Andrew's last season along with James Collins and Stephen Warnock.

Villa won that encounter 1-0 and the return meeting by the same scoreline as Birmingham tempers frayed over after losing to a controversial penalty.

Stephen Carr was given a one-game ban for gestures towards Villa fans while Roger Johnson was fined £5,000 for criticising the match officials.

Dunne, who played in many Manchester derbies when with City, knows what is stake in the noon battle.

The Republic of Ireland defender said: "Derbies are always the same. They are high-intensity games and there always seems to be a lot of pressure in them.

"There is maybe not a lot of great football but plenty of high intensity and a lot of tackles.

"I think it's the team who wants it most tends to come out on top. It's not always the quality that shines through.

"We have to know that that whoever goes out there for us has to match Birmingham's effort and commitment towards the game."

Dunne relished helping Villa to defeat their rivals on his debut and has been a rock-solid performer since making the £6million switch from Eastlands 15 months ago.

He said: "Being away in a derby is a really good place to make your debut. There was three of us on the day and the result went for us.

"The atmosphere in the ground was really good and, likewise, when we played back at Villa Park the atmosphere was brilliant.

"I think that's what the lads will be looking forward to the most on Sunday.

"It's a really big game for both clubs and I think we would both prefer to be higher up the league than we are.

"The three points are very important for both of us."

Dunne is aware Villa need to regain the winning habit after coming out on top in only one of their last six league matches.

He said: "We have probably not scored the goals we have deserved to score in some of the games.

"We have played some good football at times but at the end of the season we've got to have the points on the board.

"We can't look back and say 'we were unlucky'. We have got to turn it around and make sure, if we are not winning games, we are not losing them."

Villa will be looking to register a seventh successive victory against Birmingham.

Right-back Luke Young is in contention after missing three games with a hamstring injury.

It is a timely return as his replacement, Habib Beye, is doubtful with an ankle injury.

Warnock is available after missing the Carling Cup win over Burnley through suspension for incurring five bookings.

Striker John Carew has recovered from the bout of flu which forced his late withdrawal against the Clarets.

Source: Team Talk