Kick-off: 2000, 12/03/2021
Stadium: St James’ Park
TV: BT Sport
Newcastle start the weekend just one point above the relegation zone and will be keen to put pressure on the teams below them when they host Aston Villa on Friday night.
The Magpies have failed to win any of their last four games though and are missing key attacking players against Villa, who are still well on course for a top-half finish.
Villa have been struggling for goals recently but still look worthy favourites and an away win at 19/20 is our opening Newcastle vs Aston Villa prediction.
A Look At Newcastle United’s Betting Odds
Newcastle must once again cope without the injured trio of Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron, who have contributed 16 of the club’s 27 league goals so far this season.
Replacing their potency, pace and creativity from within the existing squad will be a challenge for Steve Bruce and his team rarely threatened during a dull 0-0 draw at fellow strugglers West Brom last weekend.
Bruce has conceded it may take until the final day to survive and said: “We have to be ready for it, we hope not and hope we can pick up enough points. But we have shown signs we are doing OK after a dismal run of games.
“To be without them (the injured players) and get a point really pleased me, the attitude and spirit is what got them the point.
“We are disappointed we didn’t win but the one thing which was vitally important was we didn’t get beaten, with the problems we have had over the past five or six days and more importantly the injuries.
“The reason why we got a point was the togetherness and attitude. We lacked a bit of quality but without the big players the team had to roll up their sleeves and take a point if that’s what it was going to be.”
Villa have more attacking quality than West Brom though and only Manchester City have kept more clean sheets so backing the visitors to win to nil at 11/5 looks worth the extra risk in the Newcastle vs Aston Villa odds.
Last Newcastle line-up: Dubravka, Clark, Dummett, Lascelles, Krafth, Shelvey, Hayden, Hendrick, Fraser, Willock, Joelinton.
Full-back Javier Manquillo could return to the squad after missing the last four games with an ankle injury.
Wilson (hamstring), Saint-Maximin (groin) and Almiron (knee) are all making progress but still unavailable, as is defender Fabian Schar (knee).
A Look At Aston Villa’s Betting Odds
Villa were held to only their fourth draw of the season last weekend when they were also involved in a goalless stalemate at home against Wolves.
It was a more eventful game than Newcastle’s at least and Ollie Watkins and Ezri Konsa hit the woodwork for Villa during a bright first half but Wolves recovered after the break and should have won.
Boss Dean Smith said: “We’re creating big chances so goals are never a concern.
“They will certainly start going in, some of our play was our best since December. I’ve got no concerns, goals will certainly come.”
Villa won the reverse fixture 2-0 in January and a repeat of that result at 17/2 is our final Newcastle vs Aston Villa prediction.
Last Villa line-up: Martinez, Konsa, Mings, Targett, Elmohamady, Luiz, McGinn, Trezeguet, Sanson, Watkins, Traore.
There is bittersweet news for Villa regarding the fitness of captain Jack Grealish. The 25-year-old attacker has recovered from the lower leg injury that has seen him sidelined recently, but Villa’s talisman will miss a fifth Premier League match after he was struck down with illness this week.
Anwar El Ghazi will be fit to travel after missing the goalless draw with Wolves with a bruised toe while Matty Cash will also be back in contention after missing the last four games with a hamstring injury.
West Brom 0-0 NEWCASTLE
ASTON VILLA 0-0 Wolves
Head-to-head: Aston Villa 2-0 Newcastle, Newcastle 1-1 Aston Villa, Aston Villa 2-0 Newcastle
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