Aston Villa v Newcastle – Premier League match preview

Villa fans

Don't ever forget this!
Newcastle head to Villa Park tomorrow afternoon for yet another Premier League away game at a ground which holds bad memories for us fans in recent years.

The biggest one is undoubtedly the day that we were relegated after what can only be described as a shambolic and embarrassing performance in our hour of greatest need.

I’ve still not got my head around why Aston Vila – a team we’ve had no previous with prior to that day – took such delight in our demise. The 1-0 defeat that day was enough to send us spiralling to the Championship and for the Villa fans to get the banners out as they poked and prodded fun at us. Being honest, it hurt, and it still makes me angry now.

We returned to Villa Park last season. I remember it well. We’d dished out a thumping to them at St James’ Park earlier on in the season, which was nice, but there was pretty much zero difference in terms of our performance in the Midlands. The result was another 1-0 defeat, which was rather embarrassing for Joey Barton who captained the side just after yet another outburst to the press. On that occasion he claimed to be the best English midfielder in the Premier League. He didn’t show it that day.

It’s early days so far this season but both teams have made good starts to the Premier League campaign and remain unbeaten from the opening four games of the season. Hopefully we still have our unbeaten record come 4:50pm tomorrow afternoon although personally I’m not too fussed about Villa’s!

The home side will be without Emile Heskey, which is good news for the occupants of Rows X, Y and Z, whilst Jermaine Jenas is riding Sol Campbell (allegedly) out injured.

Last time out Aston Villa earned a rather creditable 2-2 draw with Everton at Goodison Park. In that match they lined up with a team of:

Aston Villa: Shay Given, Alan Hutton, Stephen Warnock, Richard Dunne, James Collins, Charles N’Zogbia, Fabian Delph, Stilyan Petrov, Darren Bent, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Emile Heskey

As far as Newcastle are concerned we’ll be without Davide Santon, Haris Vuckic, Mike Williamson and Hatem Ben Arfa although the latter of the quartet is still pencilled in for an appearance in the Carling Cup tie at Nottingham Forest on Tuesday.

Shane Ferguson is fit and flying again after coming through a reserve game in midweek although I dare say that a space on the bench is most likely and that Ryan Taylor will continue in his role as makeshift left-back.

I know the old saying goes along the lines of ‘not changing a winning team’, and whilst we haven’t been winning we are unbeaten still. However I’d like to see at least one change tomorrow in terms of formation, which would in turn mean one change in playing personnel.

I would go with five in the middle, with open of those being slightly more attacking with the job of supporting the striker. For me that team would include:

Newcastle: Tim Krul, Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Ryan Taylor, Gabriel Obertan, Cheik Tiote, Yohan Cabaye, Sylvain Marveaux, Jonas Gutierrez, Leon Best.

Something along them lines anyway. I just think it suits us a bit more at the moment. The fact that people could change the players involved and where they play probably demonstrates that.

This fixture is a home fixture. If you’re at home then you generally win seems to be the pattern. Seven of the last eight games between the two teams have ended in victory for the home side. The other one was a draw.

Aston Villa have four former Mags in their ranks: Shay Given, Stephen Ireland, Charles N’Zogbia and Habib Beye, although the sight of Habib in a first team shirt at Villa Park has been described as “rarer than rocking horse shi….” well, you know.

Charles N’Zogbia scored the winner the last time Newcastle won at Villa Park back in 2006. Shay Given also saved a penalty (not pelanty!) that day.

If Newcastle can keep a clean sheet tomorrow they will have equalled a record that has stood for 110 years. Not since 1901 (when Icedog was younger!) have the boys in black and white managed to keep clean sheets in the first three away league games of the season.

All of Newcastle’s league games this season have been level at 0-0 at half-time.

Alex McCleish has never beaten Newcastle in the Premier League.

I personally think that this will be a very tough test for our boys. They will need to retain that defensive solidarity whilst trying to attack the opposition this time around. Villa pose a threat going forward so if we do concede we will need to score to secure any points. Sounds simple, but scoring goals has been far from simple for Newcastle so far this season.

I’m going to keep my run of no predictions going for now in the hope that it keeps our unbeaten run going that little bit longer. I’d settle for a point right now to be honest, and a hassle free day at work which includes finishing on time so I can get home to see the match! You know something will go wrong though…

Howay the lads!

Date: Saturday, 17th September, 2011

Kick-off: 3:00pm (UK time)

Venue: Villa Park

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

  1. Zoe aye but you see carrick is in northern ireland! But Ireland none the same isn’t bad I suppose! 🙂

    Spence are you crazy?? Ameobi won’t get near the team I mean play ba up front on own with marveux making up the five midfield


  2. Well to say he was fasting was hardly and excuse for him playing sh’it when Dzeko has been fasting and has been playing mint.

    Dave- stop tugging over my pictures


  3. At the moment I feel like we are playing 4-3-1-2 with Jonas, Cabaye and Tiote all playing defensive midfield or certainly deep lying roles – hence the great defensive record.

    Something has gotta give.

    Obertan as an outlet hasn’t been effective in breaking the back line and getting a ball over to a striker in any sort of attacking position


  4. Dave,

    I reckon Man City have got it bang on with their 4-2-3-1

    Barry and Yaya holding midfielders with 3 creative attacking midfielders in front and a target man.

    Cabaye – — — Tiote

    Obertan ——- Jonas——- Marveux

    People are saying you need Jonas to help out raylor which I agree with to an extent, but fecking hell, just play Jonas there then if he is that good at left back!


  5. anyhow they only don’t eat at day light, it would be impossible to do the exercise he does and not eat. just face it, he’s been playing sh’it.

    Nah Dave, gunna leave the place a mess! Toonsy can clear it up.


  6. Mark Lawrenson’s prediction for the match if anyone interested.
    Of course the bastad predicts we lose zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

    Aston Villa v Newcastle

    The owners of both these clubs, Randy Lerner and Mike Ashley, have clearly decided to stop paying out mad money for players and balance the books instead.

    I think they have both realised that if they spent £50m it wouldn’t bring them success, and they might not get much more than they have already got.

    Both sides have made good starts to the season though, even if Villa were a little fortunate to get a point out of Everton. Boss Alex McLeish is a great man-manager and will get the best out of the squad he has got – his players will certainly want to play for him.

    Newcastle are unbeaten but the big issue for them is that they don’t really look like scoring goals, which is an issue their fans know all about.

    Prediction: 2-0


  7. Moreno @ 161 I had near the same line up as that yesterday only I had gosling in instead of obertan.
    There is another way to look at the LB situation, if Raylor needs Jonas to do half the job try Ferguson out


  8. I remember the days when I used to watch the goal celebrations of Tino and shearer and Nolan and Bellamy .

    Never forget that.


  9. That was a joke by the way . Fishing. But no one is awake.

    I never can get my head round this formation theory.

    We get games where we don’t play well and everyone says it’s cos we played 4 5 1 or 4 3 3

    If you’ve got good players they can play in any formation.

    Stop listening to people in the pubs or yours mates.

    Listen to Sir Alex.

    It’s not the formation it’s the players .


  10. Troy – To an extent it’s a bit of both. Granted if you have a whole raft of excellent players like Fergie then it matters less as all of his players are very good.

    But lower down it’s the tactics that can win or lose a game. Take QPR. Their tactic was to try and get at Raylor so they focussed their game around that and it very nearly gave them the edge.


  11. I see score lines posted earlier reading 4 zip to Villa… Fecken hell, when did Villa become so good… In truth they are in the same position as we are as far as playing stocks go… It will be a tight one today..
    I’m thinking 2-1 to us…. Ba & Best to score, with a late goal from Bent…


  12. If you work on the theory that both teams are due for a loss because both are undefeated to date, the game could go either way… Villa will be just as capable of registering a first defeat as we are…


  13. Spencer@ 35…..ya should be ashamed 🙄

    Villa are our level, nae better nae worse but I think they have a worse manager……unless we go 442 again, in which case it’s debatable 😉


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