Aston Villa (H) Pre-match thoughts, team news, possible line-ups & score prediction

Following back-to-back wins for the first time this season and a strong finish to Tuesday’s 3-1 victory over Everton, it’s fair to say we finally have some genuine momentum under Eddie Howe.

We also come into this one knowing there’s no reason why we can’t beat an Aston Villa side that often looked wide open in Wednesday’s 3-3 draw with Leeds.

They’ve been superb since Steven Gerrard came in, however they’re also a club who haven’t had the best of records at St James’ Park over the years.

One thing is certain, mind. They’ll pose a much bigger threat than Everton did earlier this week. The Toffees may have beaten Leeds 3-0 at Goodison Park today, but they were toothless on Wednesday – something Villa have never been since Gerrard took over.

Elsewhere, Brighton did us a huge favour on Saturday afternoon, beating Watford 2-0 at Vicarage Road to keep the Hornets three points behind us having played one game more, while Norwich were hammered 4-0 at the hands of Man City.

Brentford also went yet another game without a win, drawing 0-0 with Crystal Palace. That leaves them six clear of ourselves, yet they’ve played three games more.

So, with several results going our way and Burnley hosting Liverpool tomorrow, this feels like another big chance to give us some breathing space at the bottom.

Team news

Kieran Trippier is facing a late fitness test after limping off with a calf injury on Tuesday, while Matt Targett is ineligible against his parent club.

Elsewhere, Paul Dummett, Matt Ritchie, Federico Fernandez and Callum Wilson have been ruled out once again.

As for Villa, Coutinho is expected to start after shaking off a knock, but Emi Buendia is a major doubt because of a bruised hip, Bertrand Traore has a hamstring injury and Ezri Konsa begins a two-match ban after a red card on Wednesday, meaning Calum Chambers could come in for his debut at CB.

Predicted line ups

(4-3-3): Dubravka – Manquillo, Lascelles, Schar, Burn – Willock, Shelvey, Joelinton – Fraser, Wood, Saint-Maximin.

Martin Dubravka – Another solid display in midweek and set to keep his place, with Howe denying claims that he was offered to Man Utd in a deadline day deal involving Dean Henderson.

Javier Manquillo – Trippier has a calf injury and wasn’t spotted in training on Friday. I really hope he can pass a late fitness test, but see the reliable Manquillo having to come in instead.

Jamaal Lascelles – Made up for the own goal with that equaliser against Everton and put in a very steady display. Let’s hope he can maintain that level in this one.

Fabian Schar – Looked to be carrying a knock early on in Tuesday’s game, but came through OK in the end and built on that superb performance at Leeds.

Dan Burn – With Targett ineligible against his parent club, Dummett not fit and Lewis left out of the 25-man squad, I’m expecting the Geordie giant to make his debut here. If Trippier is fit, however, we may see Manquillo at LB.

Joe Willock – Grew into the game in midweek and was superb in that second half, carrying the ball well and pressing from first minute to last. Howe may be tempted by Guimaraes, but I’m not sure he’ll change a winning side or leave out a player finally getting his confidence back!

Jonjo Shelvey – One of the first names on the teamsheet under the new boss, it seems. Has put in disciplined displays in each of our last two and will need to do the same here against an energetic Villa side full of industry and ideas in midfield.

 Joelinton – Wasn’t spectacular against Everton, but still gives us that presence and non-stop running that we’ve often lacked in the middle of the park. Needs to improve in the final third, however his main role could be to disrupt the likes of Coutinho or Ramsey at the other end!

Ryan Fraser – Got the goal he deserved on Tuesday and is becoming a key player under Howe, with his energy and pressing second to none. Hopefully he can build on this now.

Chris Wood – Needs a goal and hasn’t posed enough of a threat so far, but Howe has talked up his physical presence and the dirty work he’s doing to allow others around him to shine.

Allan Saint-Maximin – As he proved a few days ago, he is the difference maker in this side. Matty Cash will be a tough opponent for him on Sunday, however he has the beating of most defenders in world football if he’s at his brilliant best!

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Predicted Aston Villa XI (4-4-1-1): Martinez – Cash, Chambers, Mings, Digne – McGinn, Douglas Luiz, Ramsey – Watkins, Ings, Coutinho.

Match prediction

I can see there being a few goals in this one, with us growing in confidence after back-to-back wins and Aston Villa looking very open in that 3-3 draw with Leeds in midweek.

If Trippier misses out I think he’ll be a huge miss and I also think we’ll find it much harder to win the midfield battle against the likes of McGinn, Ramsey and Douglas Luiz, however I’m hopeful we’ll have enough to cause them problems.

Wood to get off the mark and Coutinho to cause havoc in a high-scoring draw!

Prediction: Newcastle 2-2 Aston Villa

HOWAY THE LADS!

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan, he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC!

135 thoughts on “Aston Villa (H) Pre-match thoughts, team news, possible line-ups & score prediction

  1. Gilly Toon:
    We need another another goal though

    Agree mate, can see Villa getting one especially after a half time pep talk. Hope we bring on Bruno for more than a few minutes as well, think he will keep Couthino shackled . We have a couple on yellows so need to tread careful . Joe can’t be too full bloodied now he’s on a yellow
    so Bruno could take some pressure off in mf.

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  2. Only half time but we have not looked in danger yet (apart from the McGinn corner fiasco).

    Credit where it is due for Eddie Howe. He has come in massively committed and changed the mentality. They are fitter and hungrier and what he done to Joelinton is nothing short of genius.

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  3. We keep letting their players drift in unmarked to the edge of our area. Need a to get a grip on that, that is classic Coutinho territory

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  4. Left hand side looks well dodgy now, Villa the team on the front foot now.
    Can we not wind up Mcginn and get him a second yellow 😉

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  5. Controversial but I’d consider taking ASM out, shift Willock or Big Joe out wide and put Bruno in middle.

    Without a decent full back we are exposed as ASM refuses to track back. He is great offensively albeit a tad selfish at times.

    Just think we need to find a better balance now and both Willock and Joe will track back

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  6. That’s a let off. Need to fire a rocket up ASM if not taking him off. He needs to do his bit defensively today

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  7. Sham, yeah mate, that’s what i was on about earlier when i said Bruno will give protection , PLUS up to a point he is an unknown quantity to Villa players.
    Now Burns on a yellow ffs.

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  8. Time to bring Bruno on to lift the crowd.

    0n 80 mins.

    I think there will be 6 mins of added time as well.

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  9. I have never seen a player improve as much as Big Joe. He was awful for 90 games and now is a star.

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  10. Excellent effort from everyone. Fraser was immense, Burn solid as a rock. Trippier, what a dead ball player! Cannot fault them today. A changed team! Well done Eddie! Finally a VAR in our favour too. Burnley losing was the icing on the cake.

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  11. If Brendan loses today will he be sacked. He won the FA Cup last year. He would be a hero at NUFC if he did that.

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  12. Everybody should watch the documentary “Minus 17”. It is on You tube and shows how calm Eddie is under pressure. It is about when Bournemouth were about to go out of the football league or into administration. Eddie comes in on New Years Day, hires a big lad centre forward and the rest is history. And then takes them from 92nd to the PL. Bournemouth FFS with their 11,000 seater stadium.

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  13. Good weekend for NUFC. I would have liked a draw between Everton and Leeds, but you cant have everythhing!

    Leeds were totally crap, so I am not sure if they are safe.

    Will watch Leicester – Wham to see the crowd reaction to Brendan and also Zouma.

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  14. Cant fault that midfield. I thought they all played great and we have Bruno in reserve. Grind out a couple of results against Wham and Brentford and I think we are safe.

    Then 200 million in the summer and push for CL.

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  15. I am not sure why I was given a hard time for saying a song was crap?

    Would I get the same treatment for saying Rocky Raccoon by The Beatles is crap?

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  16. I don’t think that saying you didn’t like the song was the problem. It was the couple of dozen posts all trying to out do the last to be as offensive about it as possible and achieve neither humour or support. Bit like all your ref posts. It only takes one post to make a point.

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