Aston Villa will be determined to end a run of six Premier League defeats and aid their fight against relegation with victory away to a Newcastle United team that is also looking to respond after being made to suffer last time out.
From the moment Vurnon Anita’s errant touch led to the award of a penalty for Manchester City, it was evident that the Magpies were in for a long 90 minutes against the champions, who duly racked up five, leaving Head Coach John Carver bitterly disappointed at the lack of application on display from his side.
As well as the game, Newcastle lost their discipline as Jack Colback picked up a costly yellow card which will see him miss this match as well as the upcoming encounter with Manchester United. Here, the supporters will be demanding a response as well as a first home win in 2015.
There may have been a new man in the dugout, but Villa once again found clear scoring chances hard to come by as they lost to a Stoke City side that fielded a patchwork defence. Tim Sherwood has only just taken over, but he needs to find a solution quickly to his team’s problems in front of goal, as the need for points is becoming critical.
Scott Sinclair has though shown signs in the early weeks of his loan spell that he could provide some of the answers, hitting the net twice in his last two games, but they must take something from this game, which comes before two games against rivals West Bromwich Albion.
Along with Colback, Newcastle will be without Remy Cabella, Siem De Jong, Paul Dummett and Steven Taylor.
Kieran Richardson is out for Villa, who could be forced to change three of their back four with captain Ron Vlaar suspended and full-backs Aly Cissokho and Alan Hutton both doubtful.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Newcastle