Sunday 13th February 2022
@St James Park, Newcastle
KO: 14:00 GMT
Aston Villa make the trip up to the North East for the afternoon kickoff to take on a Newcastle United side who are looking to continue to pull away from the bottom three.
The Magpies comfortably beat Everton 3-1 during midweek and find themselves out the relegation zone for the first time since October.
With the well publicised takeover and the addition of players such as Kieran Trippier and Bruno Guimaraes, you’d have to think they have turned a corner and will stay up.
Villa had a rollercoaster game at home to Leeds United which ended 3-3 and highlighted the defensive frailties of both sides at times. Jacob Ramsey and Philippe Coutinho were the stand out performers as the Villans surrendered a two-goal lead and also saw defender Exri Konsa sent off late on.
Both teams will be playing for the win with Newcastle playing in front of a sold out St James Park and Steven Gerrard will want to start picking up points to gain some form ahead of the latter part of the season.
Aston Villa won the league game earlier in the season with a 2-0 victory thanks to an overhead kick from Danny Ings and a penalty from Anwar El Ghazi.
Manchester United Team News
Manager Eddie Howe may stick with the same starting line up with the prospect of a three game winning run (the first since 2018) however he will be enforced into one change as Matt Targett cannot play due to being on loan from Aston Villa.
Kieran Trippier faces a late fitness test whilst recent signing Bruno Guimaraes could make his first start.
Callum Wilson and Matt Ritchie both remain long term absences.
Possible starting line up:
Dubravka, Manquillo, Schar, Lascelles, Burn, Joelinton, Shelvey, Bruno Guimaraes, Fraser, Saint-Maximin, Wood
Aston Villa Team News
Manager Steven Gerrard revealed after the Leeds game that Emi Buendia took a knock and he remains a doubt for today’s game but will be given until the last minute to prove his fitness.
Marvelous Nakamba remains a long term absence and Ezri Konsa serves the first of a two-game ban following his red card. This should lead to a full debut for Callum Chambers who recently arrived from Arsenal.
Bertrand Traore has returned from the African Cup of Nations but there are reports that he may have another injury which may keep him out of this fixture.
Leon Bailey could possibly feature but it is unclear as to how close to full fitness he currently is.
Possible starting line up:
Martinez, Digne, Mings, Chambers, Cash, Douglas Luiz, McGinn, Ramsey, Buendia, Coutinho, Watkins
Manchester United have improved under Eddie Howe and their strengths are highlighted as shots from distance, the amount of chances they create and winning the ball from the opposition in advanced areas.
Defending has been the clear issue and the additions of Kieran Trippier, Dan Burn and Matt Targett should improve this aspect in the remainder of the season.
14 of the 24 goals scored by Newcastle have come from open play with 7 goals coming from set pieces, 2 from own goals and a solitary penalty.
41% of their attacks have come down the left wing with 35% the right-hand side and only 24% centrally as they look to utilise Allan Saint-Maximin as much as possible.
67% of their shots have come centrally with 51% coming from inside the 18-yard box and 43% outside of the box which highlights the need for Villa to cut down opportunities for Newcastle to cross.
Defensively, Newcastle have conceded 44 goals with 29 from open play, 6 goals from set pieces, 5 from penalties, 2 from counter attacks and 2 from own goals.
67% of the shots conceded from opposition sides have come centrally with a 18% from the left wing and 16% from right wing.
51% of shots conceded have come from inside the 18-yard box with 43% coming from outside the box.
Callum Wilson is the top scorer with 6 goals followed by Allan Saint-Maximin with 5, who also has the most assists with 3.
Newcastle United are 17th in the ‘home table’ with 2 wins, 6 draws and 4 losses in comparison to Villa who sit 11th in the away table with 4 wins, 0 draws and 7 losses at Villa Park.
Head to Head record:
Newcastle United 71 wins, 39 Draws, Aston Villa 58 wins
Last five meetings:
21 Aug 2021 – Aston Villa 2-0 Newcastle United (Premier League)
12 Mar 2021 – Newcastle United -1 Aston Villa (Premier League)
23 Jan 2021 – Aston Villa 2-0 Newcastle United (Premier League)
24 Jun 2020 – Newcastle United 1-1 Aston Villa (Premier League)
25 Nov 2019 – Aston Villa 2-0 Newcastle United (Premier League)
AVILLAFAN MATCH PREDICTION
With Newcastle finding much needed form and Villa unpredictable it’s another tough one to call but I expect there to be goals due to the defensive issues both teams face.
It could be a thriller (cue a 0-0).
Newcastle United 2-2 Aston Villa
Tip of the day
If you back the score prediction, the 2-2 draw is available at around 11/1 currently.
Newcastle United win – 9/5
Draw – 12/5
Aston Villa win – 29/20
Philippe Coutinho and Jacob Ramsey are on fire at the moment and either could be good shouts again to score.
Philippe Coutinho is 21/10 to score any time and 11/2 first or last goalscorer.
Jacob Ramsey is 7/2 to score any time and 9/1 first or last goalscorer.
If you combine the 2-2 and either player to score first, Philippe Coutinho is 60/1 and Jacob Ramsey is 90/1!
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