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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

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Bent relishing debut clash with City

Aston Villa newcomer Darren Bent is ready to immediately start justifying his club-record price tag, with the striker targeting of a debut goal in what he describes as a "mouth-watering" clash with Manchester City.

• Keegan: Bent ensures safety
• Preview: Aston Villa v Man City
• Bruce slams Bent and Houllier
• Carew set for Stoke loan move
• Bent: Money no factor in move
• Sunderland blog: Darren who?

Bent has already scored a winner against City this season, netting a late penalty in Sunderland's 1-0 win at the Stadium of Light in August, and the former Spurs frontman is hoping that lightning strikes twice when Roberto Mancini's side visit Villa Park on Saturday.

"The game at the weekend is mouth-watering," Bent said. "They don't come much harder than Manchester City. They are flying at the moment and have some top, top players. It's the kind of game you relish and look forward to.

"It is always nice to get a goal as early as possible and, if the club can get three points on Saturday against such a big side, I'll be delighted. I scored the winner against them at the Stadium of Light earlier this season.

"The team played really well that day and deserved all three points. It will be a different game this weekend - new team, new players - and I just want to gel with them as quickly as possible. I can't wait to get going now. Villa Park is a quality stadium.

"It's strange how things happen. I was here a couple of weeks ago with Sunderland and got the victory. It's a bit strange but it's a new challenge I'm really looking forward to and I can't wait to get going.

"I always had a good relationship with the Sunderland fans, as soon as I got there, and I want to have the same with the Villa supporters. They seem like a passionate bunch as I saw a few weeks ago. I can't wait for them to get behind me and I want to perform for them. I can't wait to get playing for them.''

Bent is also relishing the prospect of playing for Villa manager Gerard Houllier and assistant boss Gary McAllister.

"Gerard is a top, top manager and Gary was a top, top player," Bent said. "I am looking forward to working with them both. It's those kind of influences that made the decision easy to come to Villa.''

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