This is a headline you will be seeing very often this week, not because a lot of football journalists, experts and pundits will be talking about this. But it’s what many Villa fans believe, including myself. Newcastle are a team that will be fighting for survival, it’s also a game that Garde has to win. Newcastle have hit some stunning form in the past two weeks, beating Liverpool and Tottenham to get 6 points, embarrassingly our entire point tally for the season. If we lose to Newcastle, the gap between Villa and Newcastle would be 13 points, that’s too much to catch up, even for the rare optimist at Villa these days.
Villa have been playing ok, especially in the second half. But the team is so fragile right now, if Villa concede first, or in the first 15 minutes, I don’t see Villa coming back into it. The biggest problem is that Villa haven’t really been able to score goals. Ayew is most likely our most inform player, and the only player that really tries for 90 minutes. But he too has struggled to score goals. Sinclair played well against Arsenal, but as we’ve seen with Sinclair, one game he’s lively and involved, the other, he’s rather invisible. What Sinclair will turn up this weekend?
The defence still remains a question, Lescott has been improving in recent weeks. Is it worth to partner him with Richards? Who is probably our best centre defender. There are just so many questions, for a game that has so much significance. This game, is the equivalent of playing in the Champions League Final, it means that much.
With Newcastle, you still don’t know what Newcastle you will get. Could Newcastle play poorly against a team around them as Villa have in the past? Or will they get 3 wins in a row?