Aston Villa v Newcastle – Premier League match preview.

Villa the venue for Sunday.
Newcastle head to Villa Park on Sunday for a match that carries slightly less significance than the last time we played there.

This is not to downplay the fixture as each and every game is important and points are up for grabs in every one of them, but at least our Premier League survival and impending doom isn’t hanging on this one game like it was last time.

The mood is certainly one of ‘getting our own back’ as we take on an Aston Villa side that are hovering perilously close to the drop zone.

The fixture was always going to be earmarked by NUFC fans who wanted to go to Villa Park and set the record straight after the way that their fans acted, and it was one of the games that I looked out for when the fixture list was released way back before the start of the season.

I was supposed to be going to the game but a mix up, a lack of cash, a misunderstanding and now other commitments have got in the way so it will be a spot in front of the TV for me unfortunately. However, if you are going to the game, especially by train, be warned that there are no trains from Birmingham city centre to either Witton or Aston due to industrial action.

Back to the match now, starting with the home side.

Aston Villa are currently sitting in 16th place in the table, just two points ahead of 18th placed West Ham. Whilst this is probably not the position that they want to be in, they do have the players to get out of it and they also have the luxury of a squad that has a clean bill of health.

Last time out they managed a rather creditable draw 2-2 with Everton as Darren Bent helped himself to two goals. With him in the side they are always capable of grabbing a goal although to be fair it’s not scoring goals that has been the problem – keeping them out at the other end has been!

For that match at Goodison Park they lined up with a team of;

Aston Villa: Brad Friedel, Kyle Walker, Richard Dunne, James Collins, Luke Young, Stewart Downing, Jean Makoun, Nigel Reo-Coker, Ashley Young, Gabriel Agbonlahor.

In contrast to Aston Villa’s clean bill of health, Newcastle are struggling to field a team. Injuries and suspension will play a large part in Alan Pardew’s team selection as Kevin Nolan, Cheik Tiote and James Perch all miss the match due to disciplinary problems whilst Hatem Ben Arfa, Leon Best, Dan Gosling and Alan Smith are all missing as they continue to recover from their respective injuries.

Jose Enrique should be fit to feature although young Shane Ferguson is on standby should Enrique’s fitness falter ahead of the game, whilst Stephen Ireland is fit to play but can’t due to the terms of his loan deal prohibiting him from playing against his owners.

Newcastle’s last game was a 4-1 over Wolves in a match that delivered a timely win to extend the gap between us and the bottom of the table. I expect us to name the same side as that minus Kevin Nolan and Shane Ferguson which will leave us, after a bit of a shuffle, looking a bit like this;

Newcastle: Steve Harper, Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, Jose Enrique, Ryan Taylor ( 🙄 ), Joey Barton, Danny Guthrie, Jonas Gutierrez, Peter Lovenkrands, Shola Ameobi.

Six of the last seven home games between the two sides have ended up in a home win. The other one was a draw.

Villa have won only five of their last 25 league games and would be sitting in 3rd place in the table if they’d have gone on to win all of the games in which they have taken the lead. They have dropped 23 points from winning positions this season – more than any other team in the league.

Villa have also conceded the most goals from corners this season (13) and the most headed goals (also 13) this season, so perhaps this is something that Newcastle could exploit? Mind you, we’ll have to watch Ashley Young as he has won more penalties than any other player (5) this season.

Newcastle go looking for only their second league double of the season. The only other one came against West Ham after 2-1 and 5-0 wins over The Hammers. The current points haul of 39 points after 31 games is our highest at this stage of the season since 2004.

There is no doubt in my mind that Villa are in a false position, but then there is also no doubt that Newcastle can give anyone a game on their day. It will be interesting fixture and both sides have a point to prove. Hopefully it’s Newcastle that can reinforce their point and leave Villa edging ever closer to that dreaded drop zone.

Howay the lads!

P.S. The match will kick-off on Sunday at 4pm for those who don’t already know.

83 thoughts on “Aston Villa v Newcastle – Premier League match preview.

  1. johncrossmirror John Cross
    Am I hearing right? Has Mark Noble really hit his own keeper, Rob Green? Incredible for #whufc

    Anyone else know anything?


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