Aston Villa travel to Newcastle this weekend. Both clubs have been struggling with form but it’s Newcastle who has been struggling the most. Following the sale of Cabaye, Newcastle’s midfield has been struggling to create many opportunities without Cabaye. Newcastle haven’t won since their 3-1 victory over West Ham on January 18th. Meanwhile Aston Villa won their last game against West Brom 3-2 on January 29th. The difference is, Newcastle have conceded 10 goals in their last 3 games.
Newcastle’s poor form could be accounted by recent injuries to Fabio Coloccini, Tiote and Remy who could all return this weekend. Paul Lambert took his Villa side to Portugal during the past week in an effort to build confidence in the side. Aston Villa are currently 12th in the Premier League.
In the previous fixture Aston Villa lost to Newcastle 2-1. Ben Arfa was the star of the show, by scoring one and assisting the second goal for Newcastle. Benteke scored for Villa.
Newcastle welcome back Loic Remy to the Newcastle squad. Remy has served his three-game suspension following a red card against Norwich. Defender Coloccini and Tiote might feature in this game.
Aston Villa have no fresh injury concerns.
The Magpies are unbeaten in the last seven league games against Villa at St James Park (W4 D3) and in the last five home and away (W3 D2).
Benteke has scored the most headed goals (4) and has attempted the most headed shots (20) in the Premier League this season.
The last time Aston Villa won at St James Park, the Magpies had three players sent off, including Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer for fighting each other in April 2005.
Aston Villa have played the highest proportion of their passes long in the Premier League this season (16.7%).
Alan Pardew’s side have not scored in any of their last four Premier League games at St. James’ Park. The last time they went longer without a goal was August 2007 (six games).
The Magpies have not seen a single English player score a goal for them in any of their last 45 Premier League matches.
Paul Lambert has a lower win percentage in the Premier League at Aston Villa (26.6%) than he did at Norwich City as manager in the competition (31.6%).
Gouffran-de Jong-Ben Arfa
Newcastle 0-0 Aston Villa
I reckon it’ll be a boring draw. I’m not sure how many goals will be scored but I expect it’ll be very little. Both teams have struggled to score recently and I don’t see that changing this week. Aston Villa did go to Portugal so that could influence their performance this weekend, but after the last two recent games, I’m not too confident.