Villa v Newcastle is one of the most interesting Premier League fixtures of the weekend (and not just because of Villa). Both sides have won one of their opening three games, and both sides desperately need a win to get their season going. It's going to be tight, hard-fought game, and Villa are a decent bet at 15/2 with Betfair for a 1-0 win.
Villa have had arguably the toughest start to the campaign of anyone in the division, but have showed real improvement already from last season. A hard-fought win against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on the opening day of the campaign was much deserved, and Paul Lambert’s men have given Chelsea and Liverpool competitive games since, despite losing.
New striker Libor Kozak is in line for a debut, but the likelihood is that the former Lazio forward will start the game from the bench. Christian Benteke will lead the home side’s line and his battle against Fabricio Coloccini should be a captivating one.
Newcastle fans were frustrated with their side’s lack of activity in the transfer market over the summer, with Loic Remy the only new face at the North East club. As such, Alan Pardew is starting to feel the pressure and the club’s supporters are looking disgruntled.
It has been an underwhelming start to the new campaign by the Tynesiders, with only one goal so far in the Premier League this season. Remy is fit and likely to play in attack; whether he is partnered by Papiss Cisse or Pardew opts to play five across midfield remains to be seen.
Yohan Cabaye is available for recall, but again Pardew has a decision to make regarding the France international. The former Lille man came off the bench against Fulham to a mixed reception from the Newcastle faithful, and a mending process needs to happen between player and fans.
This is likely to be a close game, with potentially the odd goal winning the game. Benteke’s battle with Coloccini will be an interesting one, while Cabaye’s reintroduction would improve Newcastle as a team. If one team wins they can be relatively happy with the return of seven points from the first four games of the season, while the losing side would be put under increased pressure.