Villa To Beat Newcastle
Managerless (if there is such a word) Newcastle travel to Villa Park on Saturday hoping to continue with their impressive record against Villa. Glenn Roeder has stepped into the fray as caretaker but both him and Alan Shearer (temporary assistant) have both said they don't want the jobs permanently. Will Villa capitalise on the uncertainty in Geordie land? Can Villa overcome our poor record against Newcastle? Can we expect another great four goal haul like last season? Oh, and whilst we are asking questions, does anyone know where I left my marbles?!
Kevin Phillips says: 'I know Glenn very well from my days at Watford and I've got a very high opinion of him. I owe my career to him. He's the one who took the chance on me by taking me from non-league football. He's had health problems and come through them. Apart from the 90 minutes on Saturday, I wish him all the best.'
Shola Ameobi says: 'We're capable of playing like that (home win against Portsmouth) away from home. We've got a chance of beating them. We're getting players back fit, and it was great to see Kieron Dyer back. He'll be a tremendous asset, as will Emre.'
Aston Villa Team News:
Gareth Barry officially notches up his 300th game tomorrow. James Milner is unable to play against his 'parent' team due to the loan deal, Gavin McCann is suspended so Craig Gardner will make his debut and Lee Hendrie will take Milners place. (from): Sorensen, Taylor, Hughes, Delaney, Mellberg, Ridgewell, Samuel, Barry, Davis, Angel, Baros, Phillips, Moore, Gardner, Whittingham, Hendrie, De La Cruz.
Player to watch: Craig Gardner.
Debut boy Craig Gardner signed a new deal to keep him at Villa Park until 2009 this week, so lets see what the hot prospect midfielder can do!
Newcastle United Team News:
Kieron Dyer is in contention, Craig Moore, Michael Owen, Steven Taylor and Stephen Carr are all ruled out with injuries. (from): Given, Harper, Ramage, Babayaro, Elliott, Bramble, Boumsong, Parker, Solano, Emre, Dyer, N'Zogbia, Luque, Clark, Bowyer, Brittain, O'Brien, Shearer, Ameobi, Chopra.
Player to watch: Boumsong
He looks slow and with the speed of our strikers, he could suffer.
Match Facts & Stats
Villa are 13th with 30 points.
Best case: 11th
Worst case: 15th
Home form league: 17th with just 3 wins, 4 draws, 5 losses.
Current form league: 7th
Last six games: D W L D D W
Newcastle are 15th with 29 points.
Best case: 13th
Worst case: 16th
Away form league: 15th, 3 wins, 1 draw, 9 losses.
Current form league: 18th
Last six games: L D L L L W
Last season: Aston Villa 4-2 Newcastle United
(Mellberg 4, Cole 53, Barry 71, Angel 82)
(Kluivert 28, O'Brien 36)
This season away: Newcastle United 1-1 Aston Villa
(Shearer 32 pen) (McCann 75)
Premiership record: Villa 4 wins, Newcastle 13 wins, Draws 8.
Premiership record at Villa Park: Villa 2 wins, Newcastle 5 wins, Draws 5
Mike Riley. 19 matches, 4 reds, 80 yellows, in competition with Uriah Rennie for being the worst ref in the Premiership.
Mystic mug says home win, our recent form has been far stronger than Newcastle's although the absence of McCann and Milner does put pressure on our midfield.