Newcastle United vs Aston Villa: Match Preview | Premier League 2022/23

Anthony Onifade
By Anthony Onifade
12 Min Read

Newcastle United will be looking to stretch their impressive unbeaten run in the Premier League to eight games when they host West Midlands outfit Aston Villa at St James’ Park on Saturday afternoon.

The Magpies recorded a stunning result last time out, winning 2-1 at Tottenham Hotspur to move into the top four whilst their opponents kicked off their post-Gerrard era with a 4-0 rout over Brentford at Villa Park.

Not since 2011/12 have Newcastle United enjoyed a similar start to this season, where they possessed the strike force of Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse which fired them to a fifth placed finish during that campaign.

Collecting four points from trips to Old Trafford and Tottenham Hotspur has done the Magpies’ confidence a huge boost as they begin to prove their mettle and standing amongst the elite sides in the division, currently sitting fourth on 21 points from 12 games.

Their unbeaten start at St James’ Park so far this season has contributed to their success so far this campaign. In fact, they have only lost once on home turf this calendar year, a 1-0 defeat to Liverpool last season back in April. The Magpies have picked up 10 wins from 15 games at St James’ Park, a staggering record for a side certainly on the up under Eddie Howe.

Newcastle United also have the best defensive record in the division, conceding just 10 times, and being the only club to have a record of under one goal conceded per game and the Magpies hold a decent record against Aston Villa during the Premier League era, winning 23 of their 50 top flight meetings (L11 D16).

It’s been a whirlwind week for the Villa faithful. After Steven Gerrard’s sacking following a dismal performance and result at Fulham, Danks came in as a caretaker and led Aston Villa to a brilliant 4-0 win over Brentford last Sunday. Their rapturous week was topped off with the appointment of now former Arsenal and Villarreal boss Unai Emery who will be tasked in shooting the Villans up the Premier League table once his work permit is sorted next week.

The Spaniard may well be the smart and obvious choice for the Villa hierarchy due to his grand experience and title winning record in Europe. Despite his shortcomings at both Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal, he’s led Valencia, Villarreal and Sevilla to unprecedented success in the past – four Europa League titles to boot.


Venue: St James’ Park.
Date: Saturday, 29th October 2022.
Time: 15:00PM. (BST).


Referee: Paul Tierney.
Assistant referee: Constantine Hatzidakis, Neil Davies.
Fourth official: Ben Toner.
VAR: Tony Harrington.
Assistant VAR: Dan Cook.


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Newcastle United have no fresh injury concerns for the visit of Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon. Allan Saint-Maximin remains sidelined with a thigh injury, although he may feature at some point against Southampton on matchweek 14.

Summer acquisition Alexander Isak will remain out until after the World Cup with a thigh issue of his own which he picked up on international duty with Sweden last month.

Eddie Howe possesses a settled back four, with Kieran Trippier, Fabian Schar, Sven Botman and Dan Burn all putting in rock-solid performances in defence, although injuries to either of them could derail their defensive progress and transformation, with injuries to Matt Ritchie, Emil Krafth and Paul Dummett limiting the back-up options Howe can call upon if the worst should happen.

The Magpies will be hoping the former four remain tip-top condition in the fixtures leading up to the World Cup.

Aston Villa also have no new injury concerns themselves and it looks extremely likely that Aaron Danks could name the same side which demolished Brentford last weekend.

And they may welcome back two of their fullbacks very soon, with Lucas Digne and Ludwig Augustinsson both on the verge of returning to full fitness.


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The Magpies haven’t tasted defeat in the Premier League – seven games unbeaten – since that dramatic late Fabio Carvalho goal that gave Liverpool the undeserved three points at Anfield back in August. Eddie Howe’s men were superb that evening, controlling the tempo for much of the evening, brave in possession, tenacious and aggressive without the ball as well as fashioning numerous chances for themselves in such a pressurised and rapturous stadium.

Newcastle have successfully carried forward that intent and purpose in their with immeasurable aplomb in recent weeks, especially against a few of the big six sides in Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur. The Toon were sensational in the latter two games, exercising their renewed belief and tactical freedom under Eddie Howe to almost take away six points from those two games.

For so long, the Magpies have been associated with passive and reactionary football, under Steve Bruce and Rafael Benitez, but much of that has drastically changed under Howe and his right-hand man Jason Tindall. They are much more inventive, purposeful, tactically flexible and more importantly, playing with the freedom and expression that had been lost at St James’ Park for so many years. Against Villa this weekend, expect the Magpies to exert the same characteristics in Howe’s hybrid 4-3-3 formation, pressing from the front as well as being forceful in possession.

Though, Newcastle won’t be the only ones exerting themselves with Aston Villa giving off that post-managerial bounce vibes, especially in their 4-0 win over Brentford last weekend. Interim boss and first-team coach Aaron Danks changed things slightly last weekend, switching from a usual Gerrard-like drab 4-3-3 formation to a much more flexible 4-2-3-1 shape, dropping captain John McGinn for Emi Buendia and deploying both Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins from the off, a big risk that paid off in abundance. From the first whistle, Villa looked a completely different unit, a far cry from the side that struggled in possession, lacked the courage and imagination in the final third as well as looking hopeless in defence.

The Villans had more shots against the Bees, more shots on target whilst recording less possession than their opponents. What drastically changed is that the Midlands outfit controlled proceedings both with and without the ball, something Gerrard failed to do in his 46 games in charge. Expect that to be the morale of the story on Saturday afternoon, if Villa are to continue their post-Gerrard surge before Emery starts his job on November 1, they would need to express that same purpose and control at St James’ Park. A difficult task, but it will certainly be a game which throws up some intriguing and captivating tactical and individual battles.



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The transformation in Miguel Almiron’s performances over the past couple of months is certainly one of the success stories of the Premier League campaign so far. For so long, the Paraguayan international has been the subject of much criticism, scrutiny because of his lack of a clinical edge and composure in the final third and numerously used as a symbol of the Magpies’ recruitment failure over the years.

However, Eddie Howe has rapidly changed those perceptions, in just a matter of a few months. Now, the 28-year-old is amongst the best performing wingers in the Barclays Premier League, and now a true symbol and representation, the face of Newcastle United’s rapid and impressive trajectory since the former AFC Bournemouth manager stepped through the Toon doors.

Almiron has recorded a sensational six league goals in 12 appearances for the Magpies, and while many fans were desperately calling for PIF to invest in a quality right-winger over the summer, their calls have well and truly been answered with the rejuvenation of a player already at the club. It would truly be one of the success stories of the Premier League era if Almiron remains the key component that takes Newcastle to a famous European finish come May. You’d certainly be a brave and incredibly optimistic man to write that script.


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It was truly baffling during Gerrard’s latter period at the helm at Villa Park, that Ollie Watkins was the preferred candidate to be the man to fire the goals for Aston Villa up front. Indeed, Watkins ultimately scored more goals than any other Villa player under the Liverpool legend.

But last weekend’s win over Brentford proved that former Southampton man Danny Ings is clearly Villa’s best striker and goalscorer. He’s got the stats and Premier League record to prove it, with 65 English top-flight goals to his name so far. He is a seasoned hitman. Ask any Villa fan who they’d prefer to fire them to glory in the near future, it’d certainly be Ings.

With Unai Emery starting his new job in West Midlands on November 1st, he’d be incredibly smart to change tac, and make the 30-year-old his leading marksman.


Newcastle United predicted XI to face Aston Villa: Pope (GK), Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn; Guimaraes, Willock, Longstaff; Almiron, Wilson, Joelinton.

Aston Villa predicted XI to face Newcastle: Martinez (GK); Cash, Konsa, Mings, Young; Dendoncker, Luiz, Buendia; Bailey, Watkins, Ings.

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