Two of the pre-season contenders for a top-six finish in the Premier League meet at St James’ Park on Saturday. We look ahead to the match with our Newcastle vs Aston Villa prediction and preview.
Newcastle vs Aston Villa: The Quick Hits
- The Opta supercomputer is tipping Newcastle to win this game, with a 42.2% chance of victory.
- Newcastle have won more league matches against Aston Villa than versus any other opponent (71).
- Only Man City have picked up more wins (17) and points (53) than Aston Villa (13 wins, 43 points) in the Premier League in 2023 so far.
This promises to be an intriguing encounter between two clubs with aspirations of finishing in the top six this season. Of course, Newcastle surpassed expectations last season with a fourth-place finish and UEFA Champions League qualification, but teams like Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea – who all finished outside the top four in 2022-23 – will looking to compete for the UCL spots this time around.
According to the Opta supercomputer, Newcastle are the fifth most likely team to end in the top four this season (24.8%), behind Man City (99.9%), Arsenal (79.9%), Liverpool (76.8%) and Man Utd (63.2%). Villa have been given a 8.1% chance of doing this, which is the ninth-highest in the pre-season predictions.
Aston Villa ended last season in seventh place, qualifying for the UEFA Europa Conference League. As a result, 2023-24 will be their first season with European football since 2010-11.
Emery’s side have been active in the transfer market this summer, with key acquisitions in Pau Torres from Villarreal, Moussa Diaby from Bayer Leverkusen and the free transfer signing of former Leicester midfielder Youri Tielemans. They were dealt a blow on the eve of the season, with Emiliano Buendía’s serious knee injury ruling him out long term, joining Jacob Ramsey and Alex Moreno on the sidelines for the opening match.
Newcastle’s summer incomings consisted of Yankuba Minteh, as well as Tino Livramento and Harvey Barnes from relegated sides Southampton and Leicester, but the most exciting came in the form of Italian international midfielder Sandro Tonali from Milan for a reported fee of £55 million. All four could play some part in this match, but Emil Krafth and Javier Manquillo are out, while Joe Willock and Fabian Schär are serious doubts.
Newcastle vs Aston Villa Head-to-Head
Historically, this has been the kindest league fixture for Newcastle United. They have won more games in league competition against Aston Villa (71) than against any other side, with 24 of those coming in the Premier League – another club high.
Newcastle only lost five matches in the 2022-23 Premier League – a joint league low – but one of those came against Aston Villa, in a 3-0 loss at Villa Park in their most recent meeting. Jacob Ramsey opened the scoring, before Ollie Watkins grabbed a brace in the win on 15 April.
Their earlier meeting in the Premier League came at St James’ Park in October, with Newcastle running out 4-0 winners thanks to goals from Callum Wilson (two), Joelinton and Miguel Almiron.
Wilson will be looking to add more goals to his superb record in the month of August across his Premier League career. Since his debut in the competition in 2015, only Raheem Sterling (15) and Sergio Agüero (14) have scored more Premier League goals in August than him (11). He’s scored on the opening weekend in each of the last three seasons.
Aston Villa enter the 2023-24 Premier League season as one of the most in-form sides of the calendar year so far. With 13 wins and 43 points collected, only reigning champions Manchester City (17 wins, 53 points) have outperformed them in both categories across 2023. Unai Emery has been a key factor behind their improvement, with the Spanish boss averaging 1.96 points per game in the competition since he was appointed in November 2022 – the most of any Villa coach in Premier League history.
They ended 2022-23 unbeaten in their final three matches, defeating Spurs and Brighton either side of a 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Anfield. They conceded just eight goals in their final 15 games of last season, and never more than once in any of those matches.
Newcastle didn’t lose any of their final four games in the 2022-23 Premier League season, drawing against Leeds, Leicester and Chelsea and winning at home to Brighton. Their home form under Eddie Howe in league competition is fantastic, overall – they’ve lost just four of their 33 Premier League games at St James’ Park, winning 58% of those (W19 D10).
Newcastle vs Aston Villa Prediction
Newcastle are favourites to kick off their season with a victory, coming into this game with a 42.2% chance of victory according to the Opta supercomputer.
Aston Villa have a pretty good shot at leaving St James’ Park with all three points though, with an away win coming in at 29.3%. That leaves the draw at a 28.5% likelihood.
It’s an immediate test for Newcastle as they bid to prove they can become permanent fixtures in the top four after qualifying for the Champions League. They would have expected to win a home fixture against Villa last season, but Unai Emery’s side are well-coached and have strengthened considerably over the summer. It’s the first fixture in a brutal opening gauntlet of Aston Villa, Manchester City, Liverpool and Brighton for Eddie Howe’s side.