Writer: J P Fear
Date:Wednesday January 31 2007
Martin O'Neill has said, ahead of our trip to St James Park tonight:
'I think it's a great stadium to play in. I think there's just a special atmosphere around St James' and the stadium has improved beyond all recognition in recent years. I think the players just need to go out, having taken a bit of confidence from winning a game and with the addition of players. Every single player, no matter what you tell them generally, will have their own thoughts on the game and how they approach it. I'm pleased that we've made some changes and I think those changes were necessary for the side. Now I'm hoping the players that have come in can have a relatively injury-free time.'
'I've no doubt that Ashley will prove value for money, without a doubt. Hopefully, if Carew can stay fit, he'll certainly prove it. He hasn't played much football this season, but I knew that to begin with. He himself will feel he needs a bit more work and I'm sure that the best of him will be over a period of time. I'm not expecting miracles from the two players at all. It would be nice for them to settle in pretty quickly, but I'm hoping the best is still to come from both of them.'
John Carew will score tonight, trust me!!
O'Neill added: 'We have obviously got a lift from winning the game (at home). Newcastle are a fantastic football club, magnificent support, and I am hoping that we can go up there with a bit of confidence from having won. But we know that with the players they have, think it will be difficult for us. The boy Martins has exploded into it, Kieron Dyer is coming back. He has been a majestic player.'
Glenn 'would even bore a bit of cardboard' Roeder said: 'We never really got going at Villa Park and it was a bad day for us, so we are looking to put this right tomorrow night.'
John Carew and Ashley Young are both in the squad and Stiliyan Petrov is also fit to return after his hamstring injury.
Newcastle (from): Harper, Srnicek, Carr, Edgar, Taylor, Bramble, Huntington, Butt, Parker, Milner, Duff, Pattison, Troisi, Gate, Martins, Dyer, Sibierski, Luque, Carroll, LuaLua.
Aston Villa (from): Sorensen, Taylor, Bardsley, Hughes, Mellberg, Cahill, Ridgewell, Bouma, Agbonlahor, Petrov, Davis, Osbourne, McCann, Barry, Carew, Young, Angel.
Last season: Newcastle United 1-1 Aston Villa
Shearer 32 pen McCann 75
This season: Aston Villa 2-0 Newcastle United
Moore 3, Angel 38
Mark Lawrenson says on the BBC site: 'Villa got the win they desperately needed against Watford to halt their slide and get themselves back on track. Newcastle have got one or two injured players coming back but I can see Villa getting their tactics right to get a draw.' and predicts 1-1
Mystic Mug says John Carew to score and bring home all 3 points for Villa in a 1-0 win.
Our latest poll asked what the result tonight would be. Seems the positivity is back amongst Villa fans as 71% are predicting a win. 16% say a draw and only 13% predict a loss.
Date:Wednesday January 31 2007
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