Newcastle United - Aston Villa Preview: Alex McLeish's men are undefeated in five away games
Meanwhile, apart from a 2-0 victory over Wigan Athletic, the visitors have conceded at least one goal in all their other victories through the course of their current campaign
By Adithya Ananth
Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon
Ben Arfa, Taylor, Guthrie, Gutirrez
Hutton, Cuellar, Dunne, Warnock
Ireland, Petrov, Clark, N'Zogbia
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse available after the duo returned from international duty at the African Cup of Nations. But while Ba should come straight back into the starting line-up with Shola Ameobi dropping out, Cisse could be given a rest of sorts by being benched for this one.
Midfielder Yohan Cabaye will serve the second of his three-match suspension following being charged with violent conduct, which should see Ryan Taylor partner Danny Guthrie in midfield.
Steven Taylor (Achilles), Sylvain Marveaux (groin) and Sammy Ameobi (knee) are all sidelined, while Leon Best is expected to be fit in time following an illness that saw him being substituted against Blackburn Rovers.
Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish revealed that Gabriel Agbonlahor is a doubt for the upcoming encounter against the Tyneside club, which should see Charles N'Zogbia man the left flank his team-mate does not return to fitness.
Marc Albrighton (thigh) has been ruled out, while James Collins (calf), Chris Herd (ankle) and Eric Lichaj (hip) join him in the treatment room.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Newcastle United were undefeated for 10 games at St James' Park, but managed to lose two of their last five.
- Against Villa, the hosts have emerged undefeated in their last five matches in their own backyard.
- Alan Pardew's men have accumulated 40 yellow cards so far this season. Only Wolverhampton Wanderers (45), Blackburn Rovers (44) and Chelsea (50) have been cautioned more.
- In the last nine Premier League meetings between the two sides, the team playing at home has not been defeated.
- Aston Villa are undefeated in their last five games away from home in the top-flight.
- If all matches ended at half-time, the visitors would have plummetted from 12th to 17th in the standings.
- Darren Bent (pictured right) has hit the back of the net four times in his last five appearances in the top-flight, recently joining an elite bunch of players who have scored 100 or more goals in the Premier League.
- Barring a 2-0 victory over Wigan Athletic, the visitors have conceded at least once in every game that they have won this season.
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Top 3 Predictions
Newcastle United 2-0 Aston Villa
- 18.44 %
Newcastle United 2-1 Aston Villa
- 17.14 %
Newcastle United 3-1 Aston Villa
- 10.65 %
|Premier League (EPL)||14 Sep 2013||Aston Villa 1 - Newcastle United 2|
|Premier League (EPL)||29 Jan 2013||Aston Villa 1 - Newcastle United 2|
|Premier League (EPL)||2 Sep 2012||Newcastle United 1 - Aston Villa 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||5 Feb 2012||Newcastle United 2 - Aston Villa 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||17 Sep 2011||Aston Villa 1 - Newcastle United 1|
|14 Dec 2013||Newcastle United 1 - Southampton 1||EPL|
|7 Dec 2013||Manchester United 0 - Newcastle United 1||EPL|
|4 Dec 2013||Swansea City 3 - Newcastle United 0||EPL|
|30 Nov 2013||Newcastle United 2 - West Bromwich Albion 1||EPL|
|23 Nov 2013||Newcastle United 2 - Norwich City 1||EPL|
|10||Hatem Ben Arfa||Midfielder|
|24||Carlos Javier Cuéllar||Defender|
Demba Ba returns from international duty at the African Cup of Nations as his side push for an unlikely spot in the top four. But if the Toon are to stand any chance of breaking into the big time, they would been Ba to fire on all cylinders.
Darren Bent has just managed to bag his 100th goal in the Premier League, and is currently on a scoring spree of four in his last five league games. He will undoubtedly want to add to his cause as the Euro 2012 comes ever so closer, and will look to beat the home side's back line and cause havoc in the box.
Newcastle United may have had some difficult times at home in the recent past, but they should be able to take three points off the Villans and continue what has been a very good season for them so far.