Our live stream ahead of Saturdays Premier League match, Aston Villa vs Newcastle is now up, kicking off at 20.00 GMT
You can keep an eye on the commentary as it happens below, but first, we take a preview into the fixture, lineups, predictions and much more…
Villa finally returned to top-flight action for the first time since New Year’s Day on Wednesday night.
It could hardly have been a tougher assignment for Dean Smith’s side as they came up against an in-form Manchester City side at the Etihad Stadium, but the visitors quickly shook off any rustiness and gave as good as they got for much of the contest.
In the end, a controversial opening goal saw Man City break the deadlock before Ilkay Gundogan wrapped up the victory from the penalty spot but, despite the frustrations which led to Smith being shown a red card on the touchline, he had plenty to be proud of from his side’s performance.
Newcastle come into the match without a win in their last nine games in all competitions, dating back to a 2-1 success against West Bromwich Albion in December.
Their current run of form has seen them slide to 15th in the table, seven points below Villa.
A 3-0 defeat against Arsenal last time out also meant their struggles in front of goal continued, with just one goal to show for their last five league games.
The two clubs last met in June, with Dwight Gayle’s early strike cancelled out by a late Elmohamady equaliser rescuing a vital point for Villa…
On team news…
“JohnMcGinn is obviously suspended with five yellows and Trezeguet will come back into the squad.
“They’ve all recovered well, to be honest. We came back to Bodymoor and did a recovery session and then we were back in yesterday for another recovery session.
“We’re preparing for Newcastle today and everyone has the green light.”
On recent form…
“We feel like we’re in a good place. In our last three games we’ve played Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City and we’ve only got one point from them.
“We feel that we deserved more. We felt it was a poor penalty decision for Paul Pogba in the Manchester United game and obviously decisions went against us in the Manchester City game.
“Manchester City was the game I felt we deserved to get beat as they were the better team. We’ve got great belief in the way we’re playing and the team we’ve got.”
“They had a great start to the season with a great result at West Ham. You could see that the players all look bright and that they’ve got goalscorers within the team.
“They’re just going through one of those periods at the minute. We went through one last season – we haven’t had a period like it this season.
“You’re just waiting for something to kickstart you, and I’m sure it will. We have to make sure that it’s not against us.”
On returning to Villa Park…
“It will be good to be back at Villa Park. We haven’t been there in a while, so we’re looking forward to it.
“The last time we played there I was watching at home as our youth team played against Liverpool.
“It will be nice to be there ourselves.”
On team news…
“The good news for everybody is Saint-Maximin’s in the squad.
“He’s come through all week, trained well, looks in decent shape – which is important – and there’s no doubt at this particular moment in time that’ll give everybody a huge lift because we know how important he is, especially in a forward area.
“We look to have a bit of creativity so it’s good that he’s back. We’ve still got one or two problems in the centre of defence, especially with Fede (Fernández), and Ciaran Clark. Fab Schär, we hope, will make it.
“We’re a little bit light in that area, but I think the good news for all Newcastle fans is that Allan will take some part.
“When you’re in the bottom half – or even in the top half – of the league, how important is one player? Certainly Allan over the last 18 months has given everybody a lift. We’ve certainly missed him.
“To be out for two months with this horrible virus has been tough, but then again, we’ve had a few affected by it as well. It looks as if he’s on the mend – let’s hope he stays well.
“A team like ours is going to miss arguably its most creative player. He’s the one that gives us a lot of flair, the one that the system was built around.”
“On a counter-attack, you need a bit of pace up the top end of the pitch, and he gives you it. We’ve certainly missed him, of course, for his creativity, so it’s good to see him back.”
On last match against Arsenal…
“I thought we had an improvement against Arsenal in the first half.
“We got caught in the second, just after half time, which is getting that balance right of committing too many forward, but it’s the way we’re trying to go.
“When you’re up against it, you need a result and we know this group of players are capable of getting a result – that’s for sure. We’ll look forward to the challenge of it.”
Aston Villa Premier League form: DWWDLL
Aston Villa form (all competitions): WWDLLL
Newcastle United Premier League form: DLDLLL
Newcastle United form (all competitions): LDLLLL
Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Luiz, Nakamba; El Ghazi, Barkley, Grealish; Watkins
Newcastle United possible starting lineup:
Darlow; Krafth, Lascelles, Clark, Lewis; Almiron, Shelvey, Hendrick, Fraser; Carroll, Wilson
Aston Villa 2-0 Newcastle United
Neither side come into this match in particularly good form, but Aston Villa’s recent defeats have been a lot more encouraging than Newcastle’s have.
It is difficult to back the Magpies to even score, yet alone win, at the moment, particularly away from home, and we can see them extending their longest Premier League winless run since October 2018 with another defeat on Saturday.
Time to take a look at our Aston Villa vs Newcastle live match stream as it happens…