Two of the Premier League’s form sides meet in Saturday’s early kickoff, as Aston Villa aim to extend their four-match success streak at the expense of Champions League-chasing Newcastle United. The Magpies arrive at Villa Park on the back of five straight wins, which sees them occupy third place in the table, while Villa’s evolution under Unai Emery continued with victory over Nottingham Forest last weekend.
Due to a hamstring injury sustained last week, Leon Bailey is set to miss out for Aston Villa on Saturday, joining Philippe Coutinho and Boubacar Kamara on the sidelines. Matty Cash (calf) also remains unavailable for the hosts, who will again turn to the vastly experienced Ashley Young to deputise at right-back.
Aside from Bertrand Traore possibly being promoted from the bench to replace Bailey, Villa could be unchanged, with Ollie Watkins starting up front in pursuit of his 10th goal in 12 league appearances.
Long-term absentee Emil Krafth remains unavailable for Newcastle United, while Allan Saint-Maximin will now be out for several weeks with a hamstring problem. Miguel Almiron, though, could return from a thigh injury, while Bruno Guimaraes will again play through the pain of an ankle issue.
Set to keep his place ahead of fellow forward Callum Wilson, Alexander Isak has scored in each of Newcastle’s last three Premier League away games, recording four goals in total during that spell.
Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Young, Konsa, Mings, Moreno; McGinn, Luiz; Traore, Buendia, Ramsey; Watkins
Newcastle United possible starting lineup:
Pope; Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn; Longstaff, Guimaraes, Joelinton; Almiron, Wilson, Murphy
Prediction: Aston Villa 1-1 Newcastle United
Boasting the best defensive record in the Premier League, Newcastle will fancy their chances of shutting out an increasingly potent Villa side. However, under Unai Emery, their hosts’ confidence at Villa Park has grown by the week, so the Magpies may be restricted to a single point.