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Liverpool and Man City renew hostilities

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Villa to appoint Houllier

Gerard Houllier is set to be confirmed as the new manager of Aston Villa this week, with L'Equipe reporting that he has agreed a two-year contract with the Premier League club.

Villa await Houllier response
• Blog: Houllier would be boost for Villa

After spells managing Liverpool and Lyon, Houllier is currently the technical director for the French national team, but he has scheduled a meeting with French Football Federation president Fernando Duchaussoy to follow Tuesday's Euro 2012 qualifier against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

"I will meet Wednesday to take stock of the situation with him," Duchaussoy told reporters. "I'll ask him. I would like to continue working with him."

Houllier, 63, is set to confirm that he is leaving the role to take charge at Villa Park, despite opposition from the club's supporters.

Kevin MacDonald, who has taken charge of Villa on a caretaker basis since the shock resignation of Martin O'Neill, has impressed owner Randy Lerner and could stay on as Houllier's assistant, a first-team coach or return to being in charge of the first-team.

MacDonald, as well as Alan Curbishley, had been interviewed for the manager's post, but Houllier emerged as the leading candidate.

Meanwhile, Villa midfielder Steve Sidwell is closing in on a return to fitness after missing the first five games of the season. Sidwell played 90 minutes for the reserves against Blackpool on Monday.

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