Premier League: Aston Villa v Newcastle match preview
A look ahead to tonight's Premier League fixture at Villa Park
Aston Villa are reeling off the back of two cup exits by lower league opposition in the space of 72 hours. First it was League Two Bradford in the League Cup and then Championship side Millwall in the FA Cup.
Newcastle have been busy in the shop window signing no less than five French players during the January transfer window , adding to the considerable Les Blues contingent on Tyneside.
Villa boss Paul Lambert is set to restore Gabriel Abonglahor and Christian Benteke to the starting line-up after the pair were rested in the defeat against Millwall on Friday.
Fabien Delph is out with an ankle injury, although Richard Dunne and Nathan Baker are in contention to make their returns to the side.
Magpies manager Alan Pardew could hand debuts to four of his January signings, Moussa Sissoko, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Yoann Gouffran and Massadio Haidara.
Hatem Ben Arfa and Ryan Taylor are out with hamstring and knee injuries respectively, although Danny Simpson may have overcome his toe injury for a place in the match-day squad.
PAST THREE MEETINGS...
Newcastle 1 (Ben Arfa) Aston Villa 1 (Clark) September 2012 - Premier League
Newcastle 2 (Ba, Cisse) Aston Villa 1 (Keane) - February 2012 - Premier League
Aston Villa 1 (Collins) Newcastle 0 - April 2011 - Premier League
Newcastle have beaten Aston Villa 18 times, the most times they have beaten any Premier League team.
Newcastle haven't won away from home this season and were famously relegated at Villa Park by a 1-0 defeat in May 2009, when Alan Shearer was in charge.
Villa haven't won in the league since beating Liverpool on 15th Dec, a run of six games.
Papiss Cisse marked his debut last season with a 90th minute winner against Villa, in February of last year.
Aston Villa to win: 2.75
Newcastle to win: 2.75
TV: Highlights BBC1, (10.30pm) Wednesday 30 January
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