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Premier League

  • 17 September 2011
  • • 15:00
  • • Villa Park, Birmingham
  • Referee: N. Swarbrick
  • • Attendance: 34248
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Aston Villa - Newcastle Preview: Alan Pardew's men look to end run of four consecutive defeats at Villa Park

Two unbeaten sides go head-to-head on Saturday, with the hosts looking to continue their six-match unbeaten home run against opponents who have conceded one goal this season


PROBABLE LINEUPS

ASTON VILLA

Given
Hutton, Dunne, Collins, Warnock
Albrighton, Petrov, Delph, N'Zogbia
Agbonlahor, Bent
NEWCASTLE UNITED

Krul
Simpson, Coloccini, S Taylor, R Taylor
Obertan, Tiote, Cabaye, Gutierrez
Best, Ba

A hamstring injury sustained by Emile Heskey in last Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Everton means Villa boss Alex McLeish will be forced to re-shuffle his attack.

Gabriel Agbonlahor should move infield from the left flank to partner Darren Bent up front, while Charles N’Zogbia will likely switch from his usual right-wing position to make room for Marc Albrighton.

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew’s hopes of giving summer signing Davide Santon his Premier League debut have been dashed by the 20-year-old picking up a knee injury in training, so he will likely keep faith with the same back four which kept QPR at bay on Monday night.

Leon Best is the only certain starter up front, with Shola Ameobi, Demba Ba and Peter Lovenkrands all failing to impress so far this season. The Senegalese international’s exploits with West Ham last season, however, could well mean he gets the nod.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Aston Villa haven’t lost at home in the Premier League in six matches. Their last defeat came in March at the hands of Wolves.
  • Of all the clubs to finish in the top half of the Premier League last season, only Sunderland (25) scored fewer goals at home than Aston Villa (26).
  • Both sides are unbeaten in their first four matches this season.
  • Both teams boast mean defences: Newcastle have kept three clean sheets from their first four games, while Villa have not been breached on two occasions.
  • Newcastle have been beaten on their last four visits to Villa Park.
  • Newcastle and Stoke scored the joint fewest goals away from home in the Premier League last season (15).
  • Saturday’s clash will be the first time Aston Villa keeper Shay Given has faced Newcastle since leaving St James’ Park in January 2009.
  • Newcastle boss Alan Pardew will be hoping midfielder Cheik Tiote (pictured right) keeps a cool head on Saturday – he was the most booked player in the Premier League last season, clocking up 14 yellow cards.

Players to watch

D. Bent

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The lack of a polished all-round game has prevented him from making it at one of the country’s top clubs, but the fact remains there are few Premier League strikers more lethal in the penalty area than the former Sunderland man.

With his searing pace and uncanny ability to find space in the box, Bent is a threat to any defence in the country. Newcastle’s back four have been in good form of late and they will need to be again on Saturday.

R. Taylor

Position: Defender

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Certainly no ordinary full-back, the former Wigan is one of the best set-piece takers in the country, and almost certainly the most underrated.

His free-kicks and corners are almost always delivered with vicious pace and accuracy, and he is equally adept at going directly for goal or finding the head of a team-mate.

Considering Newcastle are a team struggling for goals at the minute, Taylor’s set-piece expertise could well represent their best chance of scoring on Saturday.

Editor's Prediction

Due to the tough and organised defences of both sides, this will be a game of few chances. With home advantage and greater attacking firepower, expect Villa to triumph, but only just.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Aston Villa

Newcastle United

Wins
0
1
4
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Aston Villa FC AST
Aston Villa FC Aston Villa
Draw
Newcastle United FC NEW
Newcastle United FC Newcastle United
47%
28%
25%

Top 3 Predictions

Aston Villa FC AST
2 - 1
Newcastle United FC NEW
Aston Villa FC AST
1 - 1
Newcastle United FC NEW
Aston Villa FC AST
1 - 0
Newcastle United FC NEW

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