St James Park will be full to the brim on Sunday as the Toon Army welcome Aston Villa in the first home match since Newcastle United returned to the Premier League.
Villa caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald will take his depleted squad to Tyneside and to a ground that hasn’t proved rewarding to Aston Villa in recent years with Newcastle unbeaten in their last four encounters at St James Park.
Despite this statistic, Newcastle are 15/8 to come away with a victory with the draw 12/5.
MacDonald made several changes when Villa visited Vienna in midweek and whilst the injury list is long, some good news for Villa fans may come in the form of John Carew who is battling to be ready in time for Sunday’s game.
Carew is suffering from an ongoing knee problem but Villa fans will be happy to hear their 10 goal a season man is likely to start and is available at 11/2 to be first goalscorer.
Danny Guthrie and Peter Lovenkrands should return for Newcastle but summer signings Sol Campbell and Dan Gosling are unavailable.
The euphoria surrounding Newcastle’s return to the Premier League was culled by an impressive display from Manchester United and whilst Chris Houghton made fine work of getting Newcastle back into the Premier League, it waits to be seen whether the fans will tolerate a run of bad results and a poor result against Villa could see the pressure heaped on Houghton’s shoulders.
Last year Newcastle turned St James Park into a fortress with no Championship side able to come away with all three points, but we are yet to see whether the Magpies can carry this form into the Premiership.
Aston Villa with a fresh squad and fresh ideas should be able to reverse their fortunes on Tyneside. You can back Villa at 11/8. See the full Newcastle United vs Aston Villa market here.