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 the current campaign.
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 if 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 was undefeated for 10 games at St James' Park, but managed to lose two of its 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 is undefeated in its last five games away from home in the top-flight.
- If all matches ended at halftime, the visitors would have plummeted 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.