The Villa Appetiser – Newcastle Match Preview & Pardew on Toon Issues

Aston Villa vs Newcastle Match Preview

Pardew on Newcastle’s strength despite lack of summer signings:

“It’s important sometimes to understand that we have a very good team. We invested £30m in the last window, we have brought Rémy in. We have brought a lot of young players here who I think will, hopefully, blossom.

“Having said that, our fans wanted a marquee signing probably and that’s what we were looking at, somebody that would really threaten the first team. But we couldn’t get it over the line in terms of what we wanted and unfortunately that’s the position we are in. But having said all of that, I still think we have got a very, very strong side.”

Pardew on Loic Remy’s likely first start for Newcastle:

‘I think he’s got enough in the tank to be considered for a start. At some stage he needs to be pitched in. Since Demba left, we’ve lacked a player that has increased our goal threat.

‘With all due respect to the players that we have, we need a player that can put the other team on the back foot. I think Remy does that.”

Lambert on Kozak:

“We need someone up there to help Christian at certain times and he will do that for us. I’ve got options there – I can play the two of them up together. He’s a number nine, which I think we’ve needed as well.”

Lambert on Gabby for England:

“I’m not going to tell Roy Hodgson how to do his job. ‘That’s his prerogative, to pick the national team. It’s hard enough to pick any team. From my own point of view he’s been playing fantastically for me, he really has.

‘In the last three games he’s been excellent. He’s been at the top of his game against the best teams in the land in Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool.

‘To be fair to Gabby he hasn’t let it bother him; he’s just got on with it. You can’t influence somebody to pick somebody. But for me and this football club, he’s playing really well.’

Match Difficulty Grade

C – With confidence reasonably high as Villa fans watch their team improve, this match is definitely winnable. Despite this, Newcastle will take heart from their win against Fulham and Pardew will be keen to keep momentum going.

Form is Temporary

 Memory match: In February 2008 Villa won their home fixture against Newcastle 4-1 with an unlikely goal from Bouma and a hat-trick from John Carew.

Aston Villa: Last five Premier League matches at home: W 1, D 1, L 3

Newcastle: Last five Premier League matches away: W 1, D 2, L 2

In the last five meetings at Villa Park, Villa have won three times, drawn once and lost once.

Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet

 Newcastle’s recent form against us is good, and they are unbeaten in their last four league meetings with Villa.  Our home form is inconsistent and Alan Pardew has managed to keep hold of an apparently revitalized Cabaye (who scored against us last season) while welcoming back players from injury. It could be a tense fixture for the home crowd, if Newcastle also take a leaf out of Liverpool’s book and play a cautious game.

What We Pray the Football Gods Will Provide

 We’ve seen how good Villa’s counter-attacking football can be away from home but in our last home fixture we struggled to break down a well-organised Liverpool side. Against Newcastle it would be great to see a controlled performance to get Villa’s home form back on track. The next few home games are important to try to get some momentum back at Villa Park, after just nine wins in the last two seasons. These are the games Villa need to be winning if they want to be considered a top-half team this season.

Why Villa have got this game in the bag

 Villa have developed a welcome habit of scoring goals, which is in contrast to a Newcastle side who have failed to score in five of their last seven. Villa have scored in most recent Newcastle fixtures despite finding victories hard to come by, and the fact that Newcastle have only won twice in 21 away games does seem to tip things in Villa’s favour. With Villa’s new striker Kozak scoring against Italy in the international break, lets hope that Villa’s new-look side can overcome a Newcastle that struggled in the transfer market and that we can gain an overdue win over Newcastle.

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