Jun 24, 2020 at 6pm UK
NewcastleNewcastle United
Aston VillaAston Villa
Gayle (68')
Lascelles (59'), Fernandez (74')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Elmohamady (83')
Luiz (45+1'), Hause (90')

Preview: Newcastle United vs. Aston Villa - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Newcastle United vs. Aston Villa - prediction, team news, lineups: ID:403407: from db_amp
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Premier League clash between Newcastle United and Aston Villa, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Newcastle United welcome Aston Villa to St James' Park on Wednesday evening for their second behind-closed-doors home game in the space of three days.

The Magpies beat Sheffield United 3-0 in their first match back after lockdown on Sunday, whereas Aston Villa remain in trouble at the bottom of the table having taken only one point from their two games since returning.

Match preview

Even the most ardent Newcastle fan could not have expected such a convincing win over Sheffield United on Sunday as the Magpies resumed their campaign in style.

Steve Bruce's side had one of the worst attacking records and were coming up against a team with one of the best defensive records, yet goals from Allan Saint-Maximin, Matt Ritchie and the previously-misfiring record signing Joelinton earned the hosts their biggest league win of the season.

Indeed, it was the first time all season that they had scored more than two goals in a home league game and they netted as many times in the final 35 minutes of that match as they had in their previous six Premier League outings combined.

A red card for John Egan undoubtedly aided their cause, but Bruce will still be delighted with the manner in which his side picked up back-to-back league wins for the first time since December and only their third victory since Christmas.

Across all competitions Newcastle have actually now won three in a row, and another triumph on Wednesday would see them move past the 40-point mark and could even lift them into the top half of the table as Bruce continues to silence his critics via results on the pitch.

Sunday's result also hints that the Newcastle players were able to play with more freedom than normal without an expectant and demanding home crowd voicing their unhappiness with owner Mike Ashley.

That said, the Magpies' good home form stretches much further back than just Sunday; they are unbeaten at St James' Park since New Year's Day and have kept clean sheets in their last five home outings across all competitions - including four in the Premier League.

Newcastle last achieved a four-game top-flight home unbeaten run without conceding in 2012 and will be favourites to extend that streak against a Villa side that knows time is running out to pick up results.

A 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Chelsea on Sunday saw Dean Smith's side lose for the sixth time in a seven-game winless streak across all competitions which stretches back to January.

The gap to safety remains just one point after both Bournemouth and West Ham United lost too, but Villa's inferior goal difference compared to those two teams effectively adds another deficit to make up in their survival bid.

To have picked up just one point from their two home games since returning will be all the more disappointing considering they have a poor record on the road, where they have won just twice all season.

A 4-0 defeat to Leicester City in the last Premier League game before lockdown was their most recent away game, and that result took them to 11 away defeats and 32 goals conceded on their travels this term - both league highs.

Things do not get any easier for Villa either - their next away game after this is Liverpool while, home and away, their next four matches all come up against top-half opposition.

Indeed, after Wednesday 12th-placed Everton are the lowest team left to face until the final day of the campaign, when they are due to take on West Ham in a match they will hope still has importance for their survival chances.

On paper at least, Wednesday's game appears to be one of their best chances to pick up points before that final-day crunch match.

Newcastle Premier League form: DLLDWW
Newcastle form (all competitions): LLDWWW

Aston Villa Premier League form: LLLLDL
Aston Villa form (all competitions): LLLLDL

Team News

Newcastle were without both Sean Longstaff and Matty Longstaff for the win over Sheffield United, and both remain doubtful for this match.

The brothers are Bruce's only injury concerns, though, with an otherwise clean bill of health after the first game back.

Aston Villa do not have such luck, with Bjorn Engels and Frederic Guilbert joining long-term absentees Wesley and Tom Heaton on the sidelines.

Loanee Danny Drinkwater is closing in on a return to training after injury, but Wednesday's match is likely to come too soon for him to feature.

Newcastle possible starting lineup:
Dubravka; Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Rose; Ritchie, Shelvey, Hayden, Saint-Maximin; Almiron; Joelinton

Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Nyland; Konsa, Hause, Mings, Targett; McGinn, Nakamba, Hourihane; El Ghazi, Samatta, Grealish

We say: Newcastle 1-0 Aston Villa

If Newcastle's forwards have indeed found their shooting boots then Aston Villa's league-worst defence could struggle to keep them out, whereas the Magpies' recent defensive record at home is too good to ignore.

Aston Villa are in greater need of a victory but they are not quite in the last-chance saloon yet, so we are backing Bruce to get one over on his former club.

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