Preview: Villa (v) Newcastle – Who’s our messiah? Why aren’t we sobbing?  12 successive defeats?!

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It’s funny how football serves up games like this, even at this late stage of the season.  

This fixture, since Villa’s infamous goading during Newcastle’s relegation at Villa Park in 2009, has been a bitter affair.  

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This weekend will be no different, with Newcastle having the scent of survival and our fate having already been sealed.  For them it will be their opportunity to celebrate our relegation, but for us, it could represent an opportunity to drag them down with us.

The scene is therefore set.

The fan’s outlooks at both clubs, rarely, if ever seen aligned.

Newcastle are the media whipping boys, the trophy-less club, Mike Ashley & default weeping supporters on Sky TV.

Whilst Newcastle fans now infamously broke down in a sea of emotion 7 years ago, the Villa faithful have reacted to our demise with black humour.

Yes, there is fury, our season has been a stain on our good name, but we are not crying about things.  Constructive protests; yes.  Blubbering messes?  No chance.  

The great scenes at Watford, despite another collapse, are recent evidence alone.

With the Holte End’s “Sob on the Tyne” & “Who’s your next Messiah?  Ant or Dec?” banners firmly etched into the memories of Saturday’s visitors, there is at least license for some comedy.  

I guess we have to hope that with seven years to think about it that there will be something remarkable.

Preview

This blog has long since given up on examining the Villa form too closely.  11 straight Premier League defeats tell the complete, unadulterated truth.

Last time out?

Whilst the culmination of both halves against Watford were a disaster, over 90 minutes we played ok.  It was no master-class, far from it, but there were signs from Toner, Ayew and even Gestede that there might be something worth retaining in The Championship.

That aside, our “game management” and our defending was as bad as witnessed at any other point this season.

Eric Blacks continued support of Lescott & Bacuna, arguably the worst players in the division, continues to frustrate.

Newcastle have taken time to find their feet under Benitez and looked to have been all but doomed until 2 wins in the last 4.  This is helped by 2 draws, against Liverpool & Man City.  It’s certainly improvement.

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If there are factors against the Geordies it is perhaps their absolute need to win the game.

Many sides Villa have faced have been comfortable enough sitting back and waiting for our inevitable implosion.  This could certainly recur like many games before, but there have been few sides we’ve faced needing to beat us, whilst we’ve been also trying to battle relegation.  Not that I would say a “weight” had been lifted off our shoulders either…

Key to the game could be Newcastle’s away record.  It’s not pretty at all.  

Aside from the recent draw at Anfield, they’ve lost 5 out of the previous 6 on their travels.  This included a telling & potentially damning 3-2 defeat to Norwich City.

Predictions:

Given our absolutely abhorrent season, nothing is beyond the realms of possibility.  Whilst suffering defeat would be another sour note & a tame “revenge” for the visitors, Villa may yet surprise us.  What is certain though; there will be no sobbing.

Draw.

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