Magpies and Villans: Aston Villa vs Newcastle United match preview

Posted on September 16th, 2011 | 15 Comments |

Villa Park awaits the high flying Magpies.
Villa Park awaits the high flying Magpies.
Venue: Villa Park, Birmingham
Kick off: Saturday, 17th Sept, 3pm
Referee: Neil Swarbrick

Well if stats are anything to go by, our forthcoming away clash with the Villans, the result could well be another 0-0 like the QPR match. Of course though, there’s been many a time in the past when people like myself written stuff like that and the games have ended up as 4-3 scorchers so here’s hoping!

While both Newcastle United and Villa have made fairly promising starts to the season, the best in fifteen years for Newcastle no less, this has been more on the back of solid defences rather than exciting, entertaining Cavalier style attacking play. Both teams are yet to lose, with Aston being the draw specialists on the Premiership so far with three of their first four games ending up deadlocked. Incidentally, whilst I’m wheeling out the stats, Villa are also the all time draw specialist in Premier League history with no less than 226 altogether in the nineteen and a bit years of the competition so far, which is around twelve draws a season. While the Magpies have one more victory than the Villans, and are four places ahead in fourth, we have scored but three goals in our opening four games, whereas Villa have scored five.

What the managers say

Despite Newcastle United’s good start to the campaign, Newcastle United manager, Alan Pardew, conceeded that our last performance against Queen’s Park rangers left alot to be desired, having this to say as the club prepare for the Birmingham trip:

“We’ve had a really strong set of results and the confidence is still high, but it has been all through pre-season,”

“It is important now that we try and keep our momentum and keep our run going.

“We knew as a group that we didn’t play particularly well at QPR on Monday, and we rode our luck a couple of times. But our resilience, work rate and commitment was evident, and we just need to tweak ourselves to make sure we pass the ball better and take care of it.

“We have to threaten the opposition more at Aston Villa.”

He also noted that like his Newcastle United squad, Villa also are in a state of flux, with key players from the previous season departing and new ones still finding their feet:

“Villa are a little bit like us in that they have three or four new players who are trying to bed in, and they are not exactly sure what their best team is at the moment.”

“But that is the same with most teams in the Premier League – we are all still finding our feet.

“They have got some outstanding individuals and will be a definite threat to us. We have had a really tough set of fixtures, and Aston Villa away is always difficult.

“But we have conceded one goal in the Premier League and that is going to make sure that we have a good foundation to try and win the game.”

There are also a significant number of Toon old boys in the recent arrivals at Villa, with players such as Jermaine Jenas, Charles N’Zogbia and Shay Given to add to existing ex Magpies such as Steven Ireland (just), and also Habib Beye milling around on the sidelines somewhere too. Jenas will miss the game with a thigh injury, but more on that kind of thing in the “Team News” section below.

Meanwhile, standing on the other side of the fence, Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish had this to say in Villa’s pre match Press conference:

“Newcastle are unbeaten and we’re unbeaten but they have picked up some three-pointers and that’s what propels you up the table – that’s the major difference.

When asked by a reporter if he may tinker with the formation of the side in the game, McLeish also added:

“Possibly. We have options with the players that can come in.

“There’s some players really champing at the bit to get into the team.

“When you have injuries or suspensions it’s an opportunity for another player and any player who comes in has to grab that opportunity.”

Team news

Aston Villa

May as well get Aston Villa out of the way first, as they have less injuries than we do, with only Emile Heskey (hamstring) and the abovementioned ex Magpie, Jermaine Jenas (thigh) definitely missing the match.

Aston Villa’s probable squad: Given, Guzan, Hutton, Herd, Dunne, Collins, Warnock, N’Zogbia, Petrov, Bannan, Delph, Petrov, Ireland, Albrighton, Bent, Agbonlahor, Delfouneso.

Newcastle United

There are far more injuries on the Newcastle side, which is hardly unusual. Of course the one most in the news at the moment is new signing, Davide Santon, who knacked his knee cartilage  in training on Thursday before even making his first team debut. Mike Williamson (broken arm), Haris Vučkić (thumb and wrist), Mehdi Abeid (another knacked knee) and Hatem Ben Arfa (ankle / foot) will all definitely be oot too.

Newcastle United’s probable squad: Krul, Harper, Simpson, R. Taylor, Ferguson, Coloccini, S. Taylor, Tiote, Cabaye, Gutierrez, Marveaux, Obertan, Gosling, Guthrie, Smith, Ba, Shola Ameobi, Lovenkrands, Best, Sammy Ameobi.

Howay the Lads!

NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1091 articles on this blog.

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15 Responses

  1. Poor old Habib Beye, one of my absolute favourites until he did an Olivier Bernard and left “for the sake of his career”. The grass is not always greener – if only he’d had the guts to stick it out – better than Simmo.

  2. Start Ba or Sammy Ameobi and Best. I can’t stand Shola what an embarrassment. Try Marveaux on the left and Gutierrez on the right.


  3. Wouldn’t waste our time playing 442 away again, with 2 wingers.
    Flood the midfield with players that can go wide as well as through the middle.
    Or we’ll end up pumping it long to the big lads.

  4. I would stick Jonas right instead of left though JP.
    Let Marveaux roam though, he did that well v scunny (first half).

  5. If we’re gonna play Ba, then we have to get compact & spring him over the top, on the shoulder of his defender, as he looks better & seems to score more goals like that.

  6. I’m still pushing for 4-5-1 with 2 wingers & Bestie up front.
    But a comment during the week suggested that Tiote is cramped alongside Cabaye – I’d look closer at this, and possibly drop Tiote back in a 4-1-4-1 “diamond” formation.
    We need to not just win the midfield but to score regulary from midfield, and we might just have the type of young fast players to make 1-4-1 work – and boy, would it be good to watch!

    Villa 0 NUFC 1


  7. supermac,
    good point the 4141 diamond mate.
    I thought about that last week, but you reminded me, that’s a form worth trying out.

  8. What we need now is an international CF who can score 8 goals in his last 11 games.
    What would we pay for that record? £7m for a froggie we’ve hardly heard of?
    Don’t need to – we’ve got one already – he’s called Leon Best! And its about time we got behind the lad and gave him our wholehearted encouragement.
    Come on Bestie – lets have another against the Villa!


  9. give guti and marvuex free roles so its more of a front three on attack, compact 5 midfield on defense

  10. I mentioned earlier in the week about perhaps Cabaye (through no fault of his own) is possibly cramping Tiote’s natural style of play.

    Supermac has a good suggestion to consider a 4-1-4-1 formation with Tiote in front of the back four. Bit like a Sweeper but behind the midfield instead of the back four. This would suit Cabaye’s passing game. I would therefore go with:

    Simpson – Saylor – Colo – Raylor
    Obertan – Gosling – Cabaye – Jonas

    I would be tempted to play Marveaux instead of Gosling as he is quite creative. Possibly a second half sub.

    Does anyone know which wing Zog plays on as it was the left for us but the right for Wigan. If he plays on the right that would suit the right footed Raylor.

    Difficult result to predict as both teams are unbeaten. The obvious conclusion is it’s a draw but sadly I think Villa will win but we will come storming back to win at Forest.


  11. “give guti and marvuex free roles so its more of a front three on attack, compact 5 midfield on defense”

    Sounds good to me, a lot of teams are starting to play like this and seems to give defenders a difficult time. I would like to see us make at least 4 consecutive passes today and refrain from the long ball stuff as well otherwise Villa will turn us over.