Aston Villa v Newcastle – Match preview and team news

Aston Villa, whose season has descended into somewhat of a disaster in recent weeks, welcome to a similarly struggling Newcastle United to Villa Park in could be a season-defining moment for either side with two sides currently languishing in 17th and 16th place in the Premier League table.

Villa have endured a cup week from hell after dispiritingly failing to overcome League 2 side Bradford in the Capital One Cup semi finals before being knocked out of the FA Cup by Championship outfit Millwall three days later, all courtesy of goals of from set plays.

Randy Lerner has publicly backed under-pressure manager Paul Lambert, who says he has no intention of walking away from his post. The Scot is likely to recall Christian Benteke and Gabriel Agbonlahor after resting the duo against Millwall; goalscorer on the night Darren Bent should drop to the bench once again. Elsewhere, Fabian Delph is out with an ankle injury while defenders Richard Dunne (groin) and Nathan Baker (hamstring) are unlikely to take their places in the matchday squad.

Newcastle are without a league win since mid-December and manager Alan Pardew could hand debuts to his four recent recruits from France: Moussa Sissoko, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa alongside Fabricio Coloccini, who has confirmed his intention to stay on Tyneside until the end of the season, Yoan Gouffran and Massadio Haidara.

Elsewhere, Steven Taylor could feature after being out since November with a hamstring problem but key duo Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa remain out with groin and hamstring injuries respectively.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Aston Villa v Newcastle

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