Back in 2009 it was Aston Villa who caused Newcastle heartbreak when they relegated us from the Premier League on the last day of the season at Villa Park.
Newcastle inflicted revenge on our first home game back in the league after returning from the Championship as champions. On that day Andy Carroll grabbed a hat-trick, Kevin Nolan scored twice and Joey Barton scored a screamer which gave us a brilliant 6-0 victory over Villa. Hopefully Newcastle will be able to replicate that game on Sunday when Villa arrive at St James’ Park.
After our midweek Europa League win against Atromitos which saw us enter the group stages of the competition, I think we can expect to see many changes to the starting XI as the team who started against the Greeks was very much a second string side.
The United squad is growing thinner due to injury concerns and the Europa league clash didn’t help as both Ryan Taylor and James Perch had to be replaced due to injury, with Ryan Taylor’s injury proving to be a lot worse than Perch’s and could see the ‘over the wall’ star miss out on several months of action for us.
Injuries: Sammy Ameobi, Shola Ameobi (both hamstring), James Perch (neck), Ryan Taylor (knee). Check Tiote is a doubt.
In this fixture last year it was Papiss Cisse who stole the show as he made his debut for Newcastle in front of a packed St James’ Park. And he did not disappoint as he rocketed a left footed strike into the top corner and gave United all three points in the 2-1 win. I’m sure we all hope that he can nick a goal or two against Villa again as by his standards he has hit a bad run of form.
Anticipated starting XI (4-4-2) – Tim Krul, Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Davide Santon, Hatem Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye, Vurnon Anita, Jonas Gutierrez, Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse.
And for Aston Villa (4-4-2) – Shay Given, Matt Lowton, Ron Vlaar, Ciaran Clark, Joe Bennett, Chris Herd, Karim El Ahmadi, Barry Bannan, Charles N’Zogbia, Nathan Delfouneso, Darren Bent
Out: Gabriel Agbonlahor (knee), Marc Albrighton (foot), Richard Dunne (groin), Gary Gardner (knee)
On paper our team is much stronger and should get all three points but as we know football is not played on paper, Villa are perhaps our bogey side aswell as we have only won three of the last ten meetings against them.
Overall I think we have enough quality to see of Villa and I’m going for a 2-0 win for Newcastle, Cisse with both goals.
What do you think?
Howay the lads!
Date: Sunday, 2nd September, 2012
Kick-off: 16.00 (Although not on Sky or anything like that)
Venue: St James’ Park