Aston Villa head to Newcastle to take on their former manager Steve Bruce in what will be their third game since the return of the Premier League. The games are coming thick and fast, with more and more pressure building on Villa and their current predicament.
Dean Smith took a lot of stick following the team’s performance in their 1-2 defeat to Chelsea on Sunday. Although Villa do look a little more well organised at the back they still conceded two poor goals and if we a being completely honest, we’re lucky to score.
This has led to many calling for Smith to rethink his formation but I can’t see the former Brentford boss changing in what he believes in. In fact, he stated that he was impressed and happy with what he saw against Frank Lampard’s side at Villa Park. Villa fans disagreed and even Sky Sports commentator Alan Smith commented how the Villa faithful would have been disappointed in how negative Villa was.
We have to face facts, we are in trouble and what we have been trying all season hasn’t worked. We may as well try something new and lose than to not change anything at all and lose anyway. We don’t know how much longer we will have Jack Grealish in a Villa shirt so let’s utilize him, get him back in the middle of the park where he is most effective and try and play through him.
The game tonight against Newcastle is yet another game where Villa need to look at coming away with all three points. It won’t be easy though as Newcastle will be on cloud nine following their victory over Sheffield United at the weekend.
Danny Drinkwater will be available for selection after he missed out on the defeat to Chelsea. The midfielder is on loan was not eligible to play against his parent club.
Frederic Guilbert is also available for selection after returning to training on Saturday. Bjorn Engels is still unavailable through an Achilles injury.
Newcastle will give Matt Longstaff a late fitness test after picking up a thigh injury. His chances of playing are rated at 25%.
Bruce will also be without former Villa defender Ciaran Clark (ankle), Sean Longstaff (knock) and Florian Lejeune (unknown).
View the full Premier League injury table here.
Smith has stated that everyone has come out of the first two games okay although I would question this as many looked very tired so I wouldn’t be surprised if a few changes were made going into the Newcastle game.
FANTASY FOOTBALL TIPS
I have tried to stay away from Jack Grealish for this game. Although I expect him to bounce back at some point and put in one hell of a performance I thought I would go with Matty Targett.
At just £4.4M the left-back is a snip and he tends to link up well with Grealish when we are attacking and I fully expect Villa to do this following the negative reaction from the weekend’s defeat. Targett currently has 67 points, the fourth most in the team.
For Newcastle its hard to look past the man of the moment, Allan Saint-Maximin. He will set you back £5.4M and will be high in confidence following his goal the weekend. At just 64 points for the season, it is nothing to shout about and you can get a fair few better options for Newcastle but he did impress at the weekend.
It is very hard to be positive given the results so far over the past week but I won’t give up, just yet anyway. Dean Smith had a decent record over Bruce when the Geordie was Villa boss so I am hopeful that Smith can ‘out football’ Bruce once again.
Newcastle 1-2 Villa
Details and Television
Competition: Premier League
Venue: St James Park, Newcastle
Date: Wednesday, 24th June 2020
Kick-off: 18.000 (UK Time)
Television: BT Sports