A royally in-form Newcastle United host Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.

The Magpies earned their fourth win in five games with what Eddie Howe described as ‘probably the best’ performance of his tenure as Newcastle’s manager against Tottenham last weekend.

Howe took the reins at St. James’ Park only after Unai Emery turned the club down last November. A year on, Aston Villa succeed where Newcastle’s pursuit had failed, appointing the former Villarreal manager on Monday.

Here’s everything you need to know about the meeting between these two clubs.

Newcastle: 1 Win
Aston Villa: 2 Wins
Draws: 2

Newcastle: WWDWW
Aston Villa: DDLLW

Newcastle have collected 12 points from the seven matches Allan Saint-Maximin has missed this season, a tally they may well have the chance to add to as the Frenchman continues to work his way back from a muscular problem.

Both Matt Ritchie and Paul Dummett are carrying calf injuries. Karl Darlow is in the ‘latter stages of his recovery’ from an ankle complaint which has recently been a problem area for Elliott Anderson as well.

Neither Emil Krafth (knee) nor Newcastle’s record acquisition Alexander Isak (thigh) are expected to feature this side of the World Cup.

Newcastle Starting 11 (4-3-3): Pope; Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn; Longstaff, Guimaraes, Joelinton; Almiron, Wilson, Murphy.
Bench: Karius, Lascelles, Shelvey, Lewis, Targett, Manquillo, Wood, Fraser, Willock.

Boubacar Kamara has made encouraging strides in his recovery from a knee injury that initially had the Frenchman sidelined until the new year. While he won’t make the trip to Tyneside, Kamara is poised to resume training and could be involved against Manchester United next weekend.

Lucas Digne is expected to be available after nursing an ankle injury while Ludwig Augustinsson is inching towards a return of his own from a hamstring problem. Diego Carlos and Jed Steer continued to be sidelined with long-term Achilles issues.

Aston Villa Starting 11 (4-2-3-1): Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Young; Dendoncker, Luiz; Watkins, Buendia, Bailey; Ings.
Bench: Olsen, McGinn, Sanson, Chambers, Nakamba, Bednarek, Coutinho, Archer, Ramsey.

‘Work permit formalities’ ensure that Emery’s debut in Villa’s dugout will have to wait another week. However, interim boss Aaron Danks steered the side to a cathartic 4-0 victory against Brentford in the wake of Steven Gerrard’s departure last Sunday.

Villa may be buoyed a change in shape and the prospect of playing under a manager with four European titles on his CV. But Newcastle’s steady improvement under Howe has the division’s fourth-placed side as favourites to hurdle Villa’s sharp spike in form.

Prediction: Newcastle 2-1 Aston Villa

Credit: 90min.com

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