Aston Villa Away Preview 16/17

Relegated Rivals Clash At Villa Park

Today sees Newcastle travel to a ground which doesn't hold too many happy memories in recent times looking to put last weekend's home league defeat to Wolves behind them and consolidate their position up at the top of the league by getting a positive result at struggling Aston Villa.

Villa will of course will be looking at this as a perfect opportunity to kick start their season and get one over on us so irrespective of form so far I think this will be a tough game.

There is of course the slightly bizarre rivalry between the clubs stemming from our relegation back in 2009 that Villa ridiculously reveled in and that has created some bad blood between the clubs which should add some extra spice to the fixture.

I have to say I never particularly liked Villa before 2009 - there are one of these clubs that constantly live off past glories and quite frankly have been a waste of a Premier League place for the last 20 odd years with last year's relegation being long overdue.

The 2009 stuff just confirmed for me what a horrible club they are and whilst Rafa and the players will no doubt see this as just another game, I know I won't be alone in the fan base in really wanting to see us get a positive result from this one and maybe put to bed a few ghosts of the poor results there from the last few seasons with the 0-0 there in May obviously also a major contributor to our latest demotion.

On the pitch we really need to step things up from last weekend. There seemed to be a really worrying complacency against Wolves following the QPR demolition which was partly put right in the cup game in midweek but I think the manager will be keen to see us approach this one like we have the last few away games. You can't take any team in this league lightly and like I say this would be a perfect game for Villa to get their season back on track so I don't think there is any doubt they will be up for this and with people like Ross McCormack and Kodija up front then they can certainly cause us some problems.

As ever I think your guess is as good as mine as to how Rafa will approach this one as we all know he likes to tinker with things.

Anita's (ridiculous) suspension obviously opens up one certain change and I would expect Yedlin to come in and make his first league start.

I think there could be a temptation to make a change at centre half after last weekend where neither Mbemba or Lacelles covered themselves in glory with the former obviously also sticking one in his own net. Ciaran Clark against his old club and Grant Hanley will both be pushing for a start I think after being involved in the cup game.

Further forward I think we will see Gouffran back in the side after his midweek heroics and then up top I think Mitrovic could be pushing for a start after Gayle's poor show last weekend.

It is all ifs and buts - I really don't know to be honest but I would have to say that I would really like to see us moving towards a settled 11 but I think that is unlikely under Rafa so no doubt he will keep us guessing again.

Just really hope we show more passion and commitment than last weekend and would be great to get back to winning ways against this lot with maybe Clark grabbing a winner just to rub a bit of salt in the wounds!

Will be interesting to see if they have any of their famous banners up today although I suppose you need fans at the ground to hold up the banners which could be an issue for them...

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Your Comments - 2 responses so far

1.

Ok I'd better start by owning up to being a Villa fan.
I was there at the infamous relegation game and felt uncomfortable about the banners, partly because I imagined what it would feel like if the boot was on the other foot. Well. . . . now it is (sort of) and it doesn't feel great.
There's nothing special about Villa fans of course, or Newcastle fans come to that. . . we all just grew up feeling fanatical about a particular club ( and in both cases it wasn't because we were always winning things!)
The particular 'rivalry' between the two clubs is nonsense of course (well I hope it is, because it would be rather sad otherwise). Personally I reckon both clubs ought to back up in the premiership although it's clearly more likely that you'll get there this year than us.
Hoping for a good game this afternoon, and more again next year!


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2.

Thanks for commenting Robbo, all comments welcome on here. Apologies for delay in replying to your comment too.

Agree on what you have said, the rivalry is a bit of a nonesense. I think from a Newcastle perspective we just found it a bit baffling really.

Obviously the game has happened since you commented - thought you were unlucky not to win it towards the end after a thoroughly shocking 2nd half from us.

Bit of a fightback and decent result will maybe spur your lot on to now string some results together.


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