Aston Villa are set to launch their 2021/22 Premier League campaign at Villa Park on Saturday as they take on familiar foes Newcastle United, with BetMGM and other bookmakers putting the hosts as favourites in a highly-anticipated clash.
The sides experienced similar fortunes on the opening weekend, with Villa losing to Watford, while Newcastle surrendered a half-time lead to West Ham United.
Unlike Villa, who have had a busy summer, a lack of transfer activity at St James Park could set the tone for another underwhelming season.
Aston Villa Preview
Several eye-catching summer signings, including Ashley Young, Leon Bailey, Danny Ings, Emiliano Buendia and Axel Tuanzebe, saw Aston Villa head into the new season with high expectations.
However, a 3-2 away loss to newly-promoted Watford on Matchday 1 quickly brought the Villans back to reality, marking the third defeat in their last six Premier League fixtures, 2020/21 included (W2, D1).
A goal-friendly contest at Vicarage Road ties in with Villa’s recent tendency to feature in high-scoring events.
Each of the home side’s last four Premier League matches has now seen over 2.5 goals and both teams on the scoresheet.
A 2-1 home victory over Chelsea on the final weekend of last season puts Dean Smith’s team in a position to claim back-to-back top-flight wins at Villa Park for the first time since January.
Interestingly, the last time they mustered up consecutive home league wins, the second triumph in that run came at the expense of Newcastle.
Villa could also score 2+ goals in five Premier League games in a row for the first time since January 2008, having netted precisely twice per match in their last four league outings.
Newcastle United Preview
Bringing the 2020/21 campaign into the equation, none of Newcastle’s last six Premier League matches have ended as a draw (W3, L3), with 66.67% of the games won/lost in that sequence yielding a full-time margin of 2+ goals.
The Magpies claimed a 2-0 at West Ham in their opening away match last season. They could now win their first road trip of a new top-flight campaign for the first time since 1994/95 and 1995/96.
Steve Bruce’s side can always rely on a stellar away form from the final stretch of last season as they completed the 2020/21 campaign unbeaten in four Premier League trips on the bounce (W3, D1).
Additionally, back-to-back victories at Leicester City and Fulham to conclude last season present Newcastle with the prospect of securing three successive away Premier League wins for the first time since December 2001.
Aston Villa vs Newcastle United Head-To-Head
Aston Villa have not lost any of their four Premier League matches against Newcastle since regaining their top-flight status in 2019/20 (W2, D2).
Curiously, both Villa’s wins during that four-game sequence came at home and yielded the identical 2-0 scoreline.
Another successful evening is well on the cards when looking at it from Villa’s perspective, as they have registered four consecutive clean sheets in home Premier League games against this opposition (W2, D2).
The last time Newcastle found the net at Villa Park was in September 2013, courtesy of a 2-1 triumph.
Aston Villa vs Newcastle United Predicted Line-ups
Aston Villa (4-4-2): Emiliano Martinez; Ashley Young, Ezri Konsa, Tyrone Mings, Matthew Cash; Marvelous Nakamba, John McGinn, Leon Bailey, Emiliano Buendia; Ollie Watkins, Danny Ings.
Newcastle United (3-5-2): Freddie Woodman; Ciaran Clark, Jamaal Lascelles, Federico Fernandez; Matt Ritchie, Jacob Murphy, Isaac Hayden, Miguel Almiron, Joe Willock; Allan Saint-Maximin, Callum Wilson.