What can Newcastle expect against Villa?

Another 6-0 would be nice

Another 6-0 would be nice
After Wednesday’s three points away at Blackburn, Newcastle go in search of their 12th win of the season, when they face Aston Villa at St James’ Park on this afternoon.

After a somewhat unconvincing performance against relegation strugglers Rovers, many will be looking for a performance to go with all three points.

Since Wednesday’s match all sorts of quotes have been attributed to manager, Alan Pardew. Teamtalk.com claimed that Pardew and his Newcastle side were aiming for Champion’s League football. In reality what he had said was that Chelsea are only three points above, and that we should be trying to chase them down. The press do seem to continually print these nonsense articles. Of course Pardew is looking up, but then except for Roberto Mancini, every Premier League manager is. Below were a series of comments from fans of other clubs mocking Pardew’s ambition. It seems many are desperate for us to fail, and for us to come crashing down. It would be nice to prove them wrong.

Reading Mark Lawrenson’s predictions for the weekend (I don’t know why I bother), he said that Randy Lerner operates Villa in a manner that means they do not spend more than they earn. He spoke about it critically, and as a result seemed to think Villa couldn’t be considered a big club. To me, there are big similarities between Villa and ourselves. Both clubs have owners that won’t get many Christmas cards from fans and both have a fortune of around £1 Billion. Both teams have a passionate support and as stated, both have chosen to spend frugally, rather than splash out on big names (with the exception of Darren Bent). The main difference is where the money is being spent. Whilst Villa took the chance to give Robbie Keane the chance to run out for another one of his boyhood clubs, Newcastle seem to have spent their money altogether more sensibly.

Looking through Villa’s team, you would have to think that at least five or six of their players are on over £50k a week. Conversely, Newcastle have managed to cut the wage bill and spend what little funds available on quality players, that whilst perhaps unknown to the mainstream, have performed consistently better than well-known stars who demand big bucks. As a result, Villa have not fared so well as Newcastle this year, struggling for any kind of form and only managing six wins in the league all season. They have become somewhat draw specialists, picking up a solitary point a massive ten times so far. Winning four of their last five away games has pulled them away from trouble however, and it will be important not to underestimate a side stronger on their travels than at home this season.

For most Newcastle fans, the most interesting piece of team news will be as to whether Alan Pardew chooses to play Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse up front, with both having returned from African Cup of Nations duty on Thursday. With neither Ameobi nor Best showing their finest form during the absence of Ba, it seems that if he is available, he should play.

Pardew may however feel that this game comes too soon for Cisse. As we have seen before with the likes of Santon, and even Ben Arfa, Pardew seems to prefer to edge new players in slowly, rather than just throwing them in at the deep end and expecting an immediate performance. As a result, Cisse may only feature towards the end of Sunday’s match, if at all.

A win would potentially leave us sitting in 4th place, but more importantly, it would further improve our chances of a top seven finish. With Martin O’Neill’s lot on a fine run of form, it would appear that they are our most serious contenders for 7th place, should we fail to occupy the top 6 come May.

Predictions for today please?!

31 thoughts on “What can Newcastle expect against Villa?

  1. They’re strong in centre mid but really quite weak at the full back position so I would urge Arfa and Jobas to just run at the full backs.


  2. good chance to go joint 4th today, but we will have to do more than just turning up, i would start both Ba and Cisse and give them something to think about, especially with the midfield being a little light.


  3. toonpies… i think their squad has some cracking players… i am basing my 3-1 prediction on their manager…. he is one thick as pigshit, single dimensional hoofball manager. i am hopeful that AP will have a game plan to out fox him.


  4. As always nervous.
    Expect a conservative approach from AP with Guthrie & Perch in midfield, Raylor on the right, Ba & Best up front.
    However hoping that after say 60 mins, we get HBA, Cisse & Obertan on for Guthrie, Best & Raylor and let pace and skill destroy them.

    Expect 1-1 at half time, 4-1 winners at end.

    what we get however anybodies guess.


  5. our midfield will have to play a lot better than they have been in the last couple of games, Guthrie a must, but who along side him?? HBA, wheres his best position? would like Demba Ba to start if poss, and see Papiss Cisse at some stage, Villa’s back line is there weakness so we’ll have to have a go at them from the start, if our defence can look after there strikers, i see no reason why we cant win this one very comfortable, am going for 3-1, but dont be suprised if we win by bigger scoreline 🙂


  6. Hard one to call based on recent performances. With Tiote & Cabaye I would be very confident of a result at home but without them it’s a lot more difficult. Heart says 3 – 1 Head says 1 – 1


  7. i think Pardew will have an attacking line up and go at them with pace Obertan to start with Perch in as the DM along side Guthrie in a 442 formation . Up front Best and Ba with Cisse and Hba to come on at about the hour mark . Wouldn’t surprise me if he plays Taylor at LB& Santon on the bench .


  8. Looking at them not sure what they are doing, Bent with the 3 of Zog, Gabby & ireland gives them a great pacy attack, but 4-4-2 with bent & Keane up front does not look as threatening somehow.


  9. i laugh every tym someone mentions european footy for us? our aim at the start of the season was to stay in the league , top 10 finish for me would be brilliant!! i know top 6 is starting to look realistic but if we dont achieve that then its not the end of the world as i eud of snapped sum1s hand off if they offered me top 10 finish at the start of the season!! prediction today .. heart says 3-1 , head says 2-1


  10. Need 4-4-2 and should be no problem but think he`ll play Raylor in front of Simpson to help with ZOG.




  11. Army quite agree, but certainly European footie gives us another selling point for new players, hang on the ones we have. Also clear that that has been an ambition all along as the interviews with Cabaye etc showed when they signed.


  12. Wan’t to enjoy the game today ,without feeling nervous. They have no reason not to threaten goal lots today now Ba & Cisse here. maybe bring Oba on bit later when the fullbacks are hanging as they slow anyway ,worked a treat the other night . 😀


  13. I have a feeling that AP will start with Ba and Shola upfront.

    Raylor and Jonas on the wings

    HBA to be benched.


  14. There is no reason we should not be pursuing 5th place now. It’s tough I know, but we have seen out most of the season and are still aup there, so it’s not like we are not good enough is it?! If we finish 10th after all the hard work that has been put in to get here, it would be a disappointment. No quesiton – and the only reason we would slip that far is if Willo or Colo in particular get injured.

    We could have basically guaranteed a top 7 finish by getting in a decent CB this January. Still cant believe they cocked that up! Now we are going to have to rely on lady luck. What a slap in the face to Pardew, his staff and his players after all they have put in.


  15. 7th !!! Fook off, I’ve put my free £10 sky bet on us finishing 4th at 22/1 🙂

    Unlikely I’ll admit but………… If it happens I’ll be using the cash to travel to our first game wherever it is ….. Believe 😉


  16. Good article Ben.

    Villa have a decent team now and have spent money, not loads..since MoN left, which was the reason he left. If he was there now they’d be more consistant. Still a good traditional team tho, Ive always liked the Villa.

    I hope both Dembas start!!

    2-1 to the Toon!!



  17. in fact villa have one of the better away records in the lge,it will be tough,its there pace in the side that makes me worry and our lack of it at the back,but hope the lads will come through it with a win,will be close like i would start with both dembas it will give them something new to worry about 😉


  18. With their attacking pace we should not be defending high , the game is going to be won in central midfield . If Perch plays and performs the way he has in the last couple of games then i think him and Guthrie is a match for their CM’s . Once they command the midfield then Ba will get the goals .


  19. best way to ‘command the midfield’ is to have 3 bodies in the centre. Looks like we’ll be playing hoof-ball today….


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