Newcastle step back into the Premier League fold with a home fixture against struggling Aston Villa following their Europa League qualification on Thursday. The Magpies are showing their quality this season once again and Villa will face a tough task to get a positive result from the Sports Direct Arena.
A whole host of players will be recalled from the midweek victory over Atromitos Athens, including Papiss Cisse and Yohan Cabaye. Left-back Ryan Taylor will not play a part for a lengthy part of this season after suffering a knee injury in midweek barely 10 minutrs into the game. James Perch is also missing for Alan Pardew’s side with a neck problem.
Newcastle have started the season with one win over Tottenham and one win over Chelsea and have looked to continue the form from last term. Pardew’s side have made no signings on transfer deadline day, but have more importantly kept hold of their key stars. Former striker Andy Carroll made the move to West Ham instead of the North East, but Pardew will be overall happy with the window.
Villa boss Paul Lambert is looking to rebuild a struggling side at Villa Park and has made some signings towards the end of the deadline. Left back Joe Bennett has been included in the squad for the clash on Sunday after making his £2.5m deal from Middlesbrough this week. Ciaran Clark is also back following his one-match suspension after a red card against Everton last weekend.
Lambert has strengthened his side’s forward line with the additions of Jordan Bowery from Chesterfield and Christian Benteke from Gent. Bowery is available to face Newcastle, but the Belgian international Benteke is unavailable for the trip to the North-East. Villa have also signed 21 year old Crewe midfielder Ashley Westwood, who is also unavailable to face Newcastle.
Newcastle’s lack of signings in this summer’s window means that Pardew is again relying on his players to be injury-free. The Europa League may affect Newcastle this season and Villa have a great chance to take their first point of the season on Sunday, but Newcastle’s squad rotation on Thursday night should give them a great chance of another win over Villa.