Expectations for these two outfits are probably quite similar this year, with Newcastle aiming to build on last season’s hugely impressive 5th place finish while Aston Villa are looking to re-establish themselves in the top half following a hugely disappointing campaign. However, while the Magpies may be faring relatively successfully following their opening two games, the same cannot be said of their opponents who are once again struggling to put any sort of form together.
Even though Newcastle’s supporters will be hoping that their team can build on last season’s fantastic finish, many others thought that the Magpies would be struggling to get anywhere near the top places. However, on first viewing it looks as though Alan Pardew’s men are set to fare relatively successfully and while they did lose their last game against Chelsea, they still have three points in the bag courtesy of a 2-1 victory over Tottenham. Admittedly, it is difficult to gauge the team’s chances of success after just two games, but a return of three points against such opponents is still impressive and definitely bodes well for the future. The club will be buoyed even further after not losing any of their key players during the transfer window, which is something that many people predicted after several big clubs had been sniffing around the Sports Direct Arena.
However, while Newcastle will be satisfied, Aston Villa supporters must be exceptionally concerned. Many were absolutely thrilled to see the back of Alex McLeish during the summer, with even more delighted at the appointment of his successor, Paul Lambert. Unfortunately, Lambert seems to be struggling to make a mark on the Villa Park outfit and they approach this clash being just one of two teams who have failed to record a single point this term. This comes following defeats to both West Ham and Everton and with neither being classed as an elite club at this level, it remains to be seen just how Villa will fare as their tests get even harder in the coming weeks.
In terms of team news, Alan Pardew is widely tipped to rotate his squad following their Europa League game on Thursday. The Magpies were hit by a big blow in that game though, after Ryan Taylor sustained a knee ligament problem that definitely keeps him out of this next clash. Aston Villa on the other hand could give debuts to two of their new recruits, having signed Joe Bennett and Jordan Bowery last week. The Villains also have another piece of good news, with Cieran Clark back in contention having now completed his suspension.
Following on from the above, the only prediction we can make for this clash is a victory for the home side. Newcastle have started the season in relatively positive fashion, while Aston Villa have struggled immensely. With the game also being played at the Sports Direct Arena, our tip can only be a 2-0 win for Alan Pardew’s side.