Newcastle United will be looking for their first victory of the season when they face Aston Villa away on Saturday.
The Magpies put together a positive performance in front of their home fans last weekend against Manchester City, but fell to the defending Premier League champions 2-0. Aston Villa is coming off a 1-0 win against Stoke City.
Newcastle won both contests last season between these two clubs. In fact, Newcastle is unbeaten in the last six meetings against their opponents on Saturday.
Injuries and Suspensions
Newcastle United fans should finally get a chance to see Siem de Jong in action. The Dutch midfielder has reportedly recovered from his calf injury and is expected to make his debut at Villa Park on Saturday.
Cheick Tioté, who has been heavily linked with a transfer away from St. James’ Park, is expected to sit out his second consecutive match with a hamstring injury. Davide Santon, Papiss Cissé, and Ryan Taylor are also expected to be out longer with knee injuries.
Villa manager Paul Lambert has his own injury concerns. Christian Benteke is suffering from an achilles injury and will not play against Newcastle. Czech forward Libor Kozak has been out since January with a broken leg.
Joe Cole appears to have recovered from a thigh injury and could make his Aston Villa debut on Saturday. While another recent signing, Colombian midfielder Carlos Sanchez could also make his first appearance of the season against Newcastle.
Alan Pardew has always been relatively predictable when it comes to tactical formations. Last Sunday against Manchester City, Newcastle lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation. And considering the positive display against City, the Newcastle manager is expected to use this formation again. Especially since the club is light on strikers right now with Cissé being injured.
Siem de Jong should make his debut at some point in this match. But it is unclear where the attacking midfielder will play and who comes out. Pardew is not expected to make any other major changes in terms of squad selections. Emmanuel Rivière demonstrated some positive attributes against City and should start at centre-forward.
Aston Villa also used a 4-2-3-1 formation against Stoke City in their 1-0 win at Britannia Stadium. Austrian forward Andreas Weimann scored the only goal of the match. Joe Cole and Carlos Sanchez should play at some point on Saturday. But Lambert is not expected to make many changes from the last match.
Despite making some good signings this summer, Aston Villa is expected to be near the bottom of the league table. The club’s victory at Britannia Stadium on Matchday 1 tells a different story. But as mentioned, recent history is on Newcastle’s side.
Newcastle United came out with a good effort against Manchester City and probably deserved a better result in the end. New signing Rémy Cabella looked like a worthy replacement for Yohan Cabaye. And Moussa Sissoko looked like the Moussa Sissoko from his early days at Newcastle. The club demonstrated more creativity but lacked an end product.
Newcastle United has a significant advantage when it comes to talent and squad depth. Aston Villa is a club that Newcastle should get into the habit of beating this season. The Magpies will get their first victory of the season on Saturday.
Aston Villa 1 – 2 Newcastle United