Preview – Emery Looks To Refind Momentum As Newcastle Visit Villa Park

Eddie Howe Unai Emery

It’s top of the home form table (Villa) against the bottom of the away form table (Newcastle). Place your bets! A forced rivalry aside (they’ve surely forgiven us for the bedsheets), this is an interesting mid-week evening encounter at Villa Park.

For Villa, things have slightly cooled of late. After the highs of consecutive victories against Manchester City and Arsenal, it was no surprise that such a level of performance couldn’t be sustained. Injuries, suspensions and some indifferent individual form have combined to see wins turn into a few more draws of late.

Still, we aren’t grumbling as the campaign moves on to face a Newcastle side that’s struggling to get going all season. Eddie Howe’s team are on a poor run of league results with recent defeats to Man City, Liverpool, Forest and Luton. Newcastle fans might though point to the fact that our last win was a month ago at Burnley.

However, this is a fixture that can often throw up strange occurrences. From Newcastle players fighting amongst themselves, references to Ant & Dec, inflatable s*x toys raining down on the pitch, and an unexpected 5-1 opening day drubbing.

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Villa have injury concerns that don’t seem to be going away either. Jacob Ramsey is only just back from a hamstring complaint, Pau Torres can’t seem to get fit and Jhon Duran (linked to Chelsea) might be out until April. That’s not forgetting season-long absentees Mings and Buendia. Yikes.

Given the visitor’s own struggles, this might be the opportune time to regain some momentum on what has been an excellent season to date. Newcastle have conceded almost as many goals as they did in the entire of their last campaign and this is an opportunity to extend our unbeaten run to 18. A feat not seen since 1976/77.

Prediction: Aston Villa 2-0 Newcastle

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