Aston Villa vs Newcastle United preview: Team news, predicted line-ups and how to watch
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 20: Bernardo Silva of Manchester City scores their side's first goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Aston Villa at Etihad Stadium on January 20, 2021 in Manchester, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Martin Rickett - Pool/Getty Images)

Aston Villa host Newcastle United tonight at 8pm with both Dean Smith and John McGinn watching the clash from the stands tonight.

Steve Bruce returns to Villa Park with the pressure to perform and get the better over his former club, as both Newcastle fans and pundits have been piling the pressure on Bruce's side in recent weeks. 

After leaving Manchester with no points from their last two games, Villa will be eager to improve upon their home form, with only three wins at Villa Park in seven games this season - Villa must look to improve this if their charge for European football is to be taken seriously. 

Despite losing 2-0 to Manchester City, for the best part of eighty minutes Villa went toe to toe with City and looked incredibly solid in their defense. 

Tonight Villa will draw inspiration from City's attacking dominance as they likely face a deep block from Newcastle, who will be hoping to keep things tight defensively. 

Newcastle's most recent win dates all the way back to December 12th as they beat West Brom 2-1, but the Geordie's haven't managed to win a game in their nine subsequent games and have only managed to score four goals during that time period. 

Most recently, Newcastle suffered a 3-0 defeat on the road to Arsenal and will be looking to get some points on the board tonight as they look to distance themselves from the relegation zone.

Team news

Both Dean Smith and John McGinn will miss the game due to suspensions, Villa will also be without Wesley, who's not featured since New Years Day 2020 after suffering a season-ending injury. 

Matt Targett is expected to feature despite coming off early against Manchester City. It is suspected that Targett was one of Villa's players who tested positive with COVID-19 and Villa were looking to protect their player.

As for Newcastle, Ryan Fraiser is available after serving his suspension, but the Magpies are expected to be without both Allan Saint-Maximin and Federico Fernandez for tonight's clash.

Ones to watch

Callum Wilson was extremely vocal in the summer about his reasoning for joining Newcastle over Villa, which will add an interesting dimension to this game for both sets of supporters. Villa are thriving this season and so is Wilson, despite staring in a struggling Newcastle side. 

The striker has scored eight goals so far this season, if Newcastle are to get anything from tonight's game - it's vital they provide their striker with the service he desires. 

Predicted lineups

Aston Villa; Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Luiz, Ramsey, Grealish; Traore, Watkins, El Ghazi (4-3-3).

Newcastle; Darlow; Krafth, Lascelles, Clark, Lewis; Almiron, Shelvey, Hendrick, Fraser; Wilson, Caroll (4-4-2).

How to watch

Tonight's game is being broadcast live on BT Sports in the United Kingdom, BT Sport subscribers can also watch this game live on the BT Sport app.