Having been held to a goalless draw with Everton on MD 21, Unai Emery’s men will look to get back on track on Tuesday as they hunt for a top-four finish. Here’s our Aston Villa vs Newcastle United prediction and preview.
- Aston Villa are predicted to defeat Newcastle United, winning 42.7% of pre-match simulations by the Opta supercomputer.
- Newcastle have lost each of their last four Premier League games, conceding at least three goals in the last three of those.
- Villa have won 16 of their last 17 Premier League home games (D1), since going down 4-2 against Arsenal last February.
Aston Villa remain the unlikely challengers for the Premier League title – or at least UEFA Champions League qualification – as they prepare for Tuesday’s clash at Villa Park against out-of-sorts Newcastle United, who were a similar surprise package last season.
Unai Emery has transformed Villa’s fortunes this term, with his side sitting level on points with Arsenal and Manchester City – the latter of whom have a game in hand – and trailing top-flight leaders Liverpool by five points after Matchday 21.
That gap to Jürgen Klopp’s side would be smaller if Villa did not share the spoils with Everton on MD 21 in a result that marked Emery’s first ever Premier League goalless draw in his 97th game in charge. However, only once has Emery seen his side fail to score in consecutive Premier League matches, with the Villans losing 1-0 to both Manchester United and Wolves in April/May last season.
Villa were held to a goalless draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup fourth round on Friday night. Robin Olsen returned to fitness for that clash as he took his place on the bench, though Jacob Ramsey, Lucas Digne, Pau Torres and Jhon Durán remain sidelined. Emery’s lineup also continues without long-term absentees Tyrone Mings and Emiliano Buendía. Bertrand Traoré is another away at the Africa Cup of Nations with Burkina Faso, though Emery will call upon the ever-reliant Ollie Watkins in attack.
Watkins has been involved in nine goals in his last eight Premier League home appearances, scoring five and assisting four. His next goal will be his 50th in the Premier League, just the third Villa player to reach the milestone after Gabriel Agbonlahor (74) and Dwight Yorke (60), and the England striker will fancy his chances after scoring twice in this fixture last term.
On the topic of last campaign, Newcastle will likely be looking on with regret after seeing Villa enjoy a similar season to the St. James’ Park side in 2022-23, when the Magpies finished fourth in the league table to secure UEFA Champions League football. That impressive campaign appears somewhat of a distant memory for Eddie Howe, whose 10th-place side have lost their last four league games, against Luton Town, Nottingham Forest, Liverpool and Manchester City.
There may be some Newcastle confidence taken from defeating fierce rivals Sunderland and Fulham in the third and fourth rounds of the FA Cup respectively, though their league form remains a concern. Since beating Manchester United at the start of December, with what was their seventh win in 10 Premier League games, no side has taken fewer points than the Magpies’ three (W1 L6).
That woeful spell can somewhat be apportioned to injury issues, with Nick Pope, Joe Willock, Elliot Anderson, Harvey Barnes, Callum Wilson and Matt Targett as long-term absentees. Howe’s lineup for Tuesday could at least see Jacob Murphy return following Tino Livramento coming back in the 2-0 win over Fulham on Friday, though the Magpies were dealt another blow last week. Already without the suspended Sandro Tonali due to his ban, Newcastle confirmed this week that influential midfielder Joelinton will not return until May after undergoing surgery for a thigh injury suffered against Sunderland earlier in January.
Howe’s men were without that ever-growing list of injured stars on MD 21, in which they were undone by Kevin De Bruyne‘s brilliance in a 3-2 defeat against Man City. The Belgian came off the bench to cancel out Anthony Gordon’s strike before setting up Oscar Bobb’s late winner at St. James’ Park.
Alexander Isak, who had earlier restored parity against Pep Guardiola’s defending champions after Bernardo Silva’s inventive opener past Martin Dúbravka, has scored in each of Newcastle’s last three Premier League games but ended on the losing side every time. No player has ever scored in four successive appearances in the Premier League while losing each one.
Aston Villa vs Newcastle Head-to-Head
Emery’s side have made Villa Park a fortress and their record against Newcastle is also very good. They have gone unbeaten in their last six Premier League home games with the Magpies, winning the last four in a row while keeping a clean sheet each time (W4 D2).
Jacob Ramsey was on the scoresheet along with Ollie Watkins (2) as the Villa Park hosts won 3-0 in this exact fixture last season. In fact, you must go all the way back to September 2013 for the last time Villa lost at home to Newcastle – a 2-1 defeat as Hatem Ben Arfa scored one and assisted another.
Newcastle have not completed a Premier League double over Villa since that same 2013-14 season but have the chance here after winning 5-1 in the first game of 2023-24 at St. James’ Park. Alexander Isak scored twice in the opening-day demolition, with Sandro Tonali, Harvey Barnes and Callum Wilson also netting as Moussa Diaby’s 11th-minute equaliser was rendered meaningless.
Newcastle’s hopes of a rare double over Villa appear slim given they have lost each of their last four Premier League games – against Manchester City, Liverpool, Nottingham Forest and Luton Town – conceding at least three goals in each defeat apart from the Hatters loss.
That run is the Magpies’ longest league losing streak since January 2021 (run of five), while not since December 1965 have they conceded three or more goals in four straight league fixtures – an unwanted record that Howe will desperately hope to avoid.
A turgid spell for Newcastle will likely not improve at Villa Park, however, where Villa have won 16 of their last 17 Premier League home games (D1), since going down 4-2 against Arsenal last February.
Villa have been behind for just 43 minutes in Premier League home games this season, with only Manchester City trailing less at home (three minutes). Meanwhile, only four sides have been ahead for fewer minutes in away games this term than Newcastle (136).
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off this weekend, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Aston Villa vs Newcastle Prediction
Overcoming Villa’s home form will be a tough ask and that is reflected in the Opta supercomputer’s pre-match predictions, with Villa winning 42.5% of 10,000 simulations.
Newcastle must arrest their poor away form but triumphed in just 29.1% of the data-led scenarios, with a draw appearing just as likely in 28.4%.
In the end-of-season Opta simulations, Villa’s top-four hopes sit at 70.2% but their title chance is ranked at just 0.9%, behind Manchester City (59.5%), Liverpool (36.5%) and Arsenal (2.9%). Meanwhile, Newcastle are backed to finish eighth – two spots above their current league-table position – in 17.8%.