Aston Villa had let their ambitions be known by bolstering their ranks by adding Leon Bailey, Danny Ings and Emiliano Buendia in the summer. But Jack Grealish's departure has plunged the club into a pool of gloom. It translated to the field in their shocking 3-2 defeat against newly-promoted Watford on the opening day of the new season.
They were down 3-0 after 67 minutes and looked no match for the Hornets. A delightful finish from John McGinn and a spot-kick from new signing Danny Ings gave the scoreline a bit of respectability.
Newcastle United's early energy was snapped in pitiless fashion as West Ham United fashioned an emphatic comeback in the second half last week. The Magpies went into half-time with a 2-1 lead thanks to goals from Callum Wilson and Jacob Murphy on either side of Aaron Cresswell's equalizer.
But the Hammers came out swinging from the gates in the second half and scored three goals inside 13 minutes to put the game to bed. Steve Bruce's men will need to put it behind them as they go up against an Aston Villa side that are desperate to prove themselves following Grealish's exit.
Aston Villa vs Newcastle United Head-to-Head
In the last ten meetings between the two sides, Aston Villa and Newcastle United have won twice each. Six matches have ended as draws. The last time the two sides battled was in March during the 2020-21 Premier League season when the game ended 1-1.
Aston Villa form guide (including friendlies): W-L-W-W-L
Newcastle United form guide (including friendlies): W-D-W-W-L
Aston Villa vs Newcastle United Team News
Villa missed Ollie Watkins dearly in the first game and will be happy to welcome him back to the starting lineup here. Bailey made an impact off the bench against Watford and could be handed a start here.
Trezeguet is sidelined with an injury. Bertrand Traore pulled his hamstring in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Liverpool and is likely to be unavailable. Douglas Luiz has joined the team after his Olympic outing. Morgan Sanson is on the route to full recovery and is a doubt here.
Doubtful: Bertrand Traore, Douglas Luiz, Morgan Sanson, Ollie Watkins
Goalkeeper Karl Darlow could return after recovering from Covid-19. Martin Dubravka continues to be unavailable. Freddie Woodman is once again expected to start in goal for the Magpies.
Joe Willock, who was in prime goalscoring form in the final stretch of the 2020-21 season, has been registered as a new signing and is available. Defender Paul Dummett is the only other absentee for the game.
Injuries: Martin Dubravka, Paul Dummett
Doubtful: Karl Darlow
Aston Villa vs Newcastle United Predicted Lineups
Aston Villa Predicted XI (4-4-2): Emiliano Martinez; Ashley Young, Ezri Konsa, Tyrone Mings, Matthew Cash; Marvelous Nakamba, John McGinn, Leon Bailey, Emiliano Buendia; Ollie Watkins, Danny Ings
Newcastle United Predicted XI (3-5-2): Freddie Woodman; Ciaran Clark, Jamaal Lascelles, Federico Fernandez; Matt Ritchie, Jacob Murphy, Isaac Hayden, Miguel Almiron, Joe Willock; Allan Saint-Maximin, Callum Wilson
Aston Villa vs Newcastle United Prediction
Aston Villa will hope to make their home advantage count. They have a very good set of players who can really trouble Steve Bruce's men. Aston Villa's defence will need to do better to keep Newcastle United at bay.
Prediction: Aston Villa 2-1 Newcastle United