Venue: Villa Park, Birmingham.
Date: Sat 14th Sep, 2013.
Kick off: 3.00pm.
Referee: Mike Dean.
UK TV: None.
The resumption of Premier League action after the International break see Newcastle United travelling to Birmingham’s Villa Park for this afternoon’s game against Aston Villa.
Newcastle United and Aston Villa come into this game at 12th and 13th in the Premier League respctively with 4 points to Newcastle United, and 3 to Aston Villa. Looking at their Premier League form so far this season, Aston Villa got off to an excellent start, convincingly beating Arsenal 3-1. However, this was followed by two successive defeats, 2-1 to Chelsea and 0-1 to Liverpool. Meanwhile, as you probably know, Newcastle’s results have been getting steadily better. After a 4-0 mauling by Manchester City in their opening game, this managed a 0-0 draw with West Ham, finally scraping 1-0 win against a toothless Fulham in their last game.
In the same fixture last season at their place, Newcastle came away as the 2-1 victors with goals from Cisse and Cabaye. Incidentally, today’s whistlemaster, Mike Dean, also refereed that one too.
You can see the form of the two clubs in their last six Premier League games by looking at the table below (latest results first).
Unfortumately for Newcastle, Christian Benteke should be fit and ready to go, though Toon old face and close friend of Joe Kinnear, Charles “Insomnia” N’Zogbia will definitely be out as he recovers from Achilles surgery.
On the doubtful list, Centre-Back / Left back Nathan Baker may or may not be out with an ankle problem, along with new left-back Antonio Luna with some kind of knock.
Ryan Taylor and Massadio Haidara continue their spell on the sidelines with knacked knees. Indeed, it is hard to know why Taylor was included in Newcastle United’s 25 man squad list handed in at the end of the transfer window as he will probably be out for the whole season.
The return of Jonas Gutiérrez (knee), Gabriel Obertan (hamstring) and “Iron” Mike Williamson (knock) have all been eagerly anticipated by Magpies’ fans everywhere and they’re very close, however they remain on the doubtful list for the run up for this game.
Finally, Steven Taylor should also be ready for selection after serving his three match suspension for hitting someone in the face.
As usual, I will be posting the official team sheets when they become available around an hour before the kick-off.
What the managers have been saying…
Paul Lambert: “Newcastle is a huge football club and Alan has done great up there. They’ve got some really top players and this is a tough game, but we’re certainly playing really well at the minute and will go into the game with a lot of confidence. We are ready for this one.”
“I want to try to attack. This season we’ve started off by playing really well and we’re doing well at the moment. Sometimes you can walk out of a game thinking you deserved to be beaten but against Chelsea and Liverpool I don’t think we deserved to lose. You can take that confidence from it because the way we played was really positive.I haven’t had to say much because it’s been that high-level.”
Alan Pardew: “If you look at Aston Villa and ourselves – in terms of the finances we have available – we are very similar clubs. And therefore it’s a big game for us, one that could determine our position in the league at the end of the season. It’s important we get a result.”
Alan Pardew’s pre match press conference.
So with that I will sign off, but only after my usual reminders that I will be posting links to watch the game online, as well as highlights and possibly a video of the whole game when they are available. Which only leves it for me to say:
Howay the Lads!
Aston Villa: Brad Guzan (G), Matthew Lowton, Ron Vlaar, Jores Okore, Antonio Luna, Karim El Ahmadi, Ashley Westwood, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Fabien Delph, Christian Benteke, Andreas Weimann.
Subs: Jed Steer (G), Ciaran Clark, Leandro Bacuna, Niklas Helenius, Yacouba Sylla, Aleksandar Tonev, Libor Kozak.
Newcastle United (4-3-3): Tim Krul (G); Mathieu Debuchy, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Fabricio Coloccini (C), Davide Santon; Vurnon Anita, Moussa Sissoko, Yohan Cabaye; Hatem Ben Arfa, Papiss Cisse, Loic Remy.
Subs: Rob Elliot (G), Paul Dummett, Steven Taylor, Cheick Tiote, Sylvain Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi, Yoan Gouffran.