Aston Villa will be aiming to build on their fine opening day win at Stoke City when they face Newcastle United in Saturday’s early kick-off.
Paul Lambert’s men defended resolutely throughout at the Britannia Stadium, with captain Ron Vlaar leading a strong rearguard action. After surviving an early flurry from Stoke, they soon took control and merited the lead given to them by Andreas Weimann, who looks set to be the man they rely on for goals in the coming months. They will now hope to get their home campaign off to a good start, after having a poor record at Villa Park last season.
Despite eventually going down 2-0 to champions Manchester City, Newcastle showed plenty of encouraging signs in their first match. New signings Jack Colback and Remy Cabella appear to have settled in well, and they both gave everything in what was a very committed team performance. Their quality in the final third let them down, however, and it was also a game which showed why they could struggle for goals.
Strikers Christian Benteke and Libor Kozak are both still out for Villa, who could give a debut to new signing Carlos Sanchez, who impressed for Colombia at the World Cup.
Siem De Jong has recovered from a calf injury and so could feature for the away side, but Papiss Cisse, Davide Santon and Cheick Tiote are all major doubts.
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