Aston Villa kick off their 2023/24 Premier League campaign with a tricky trip away to Newcastle United. It might turn out to be a long season for both teams, as they are both qualified for European Club Competition this year.

With Newcastle United in the UEFA Champions League group stage and Aston Villa in the UEFA Europa Conference League play-off round, squad rotation and man management from Unai Emery and Eddie Howe will be the key factor in both teams' seasons.

Unai Emery head coach of <strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2021/10/29/aston-villa/1090938-the-key-quotes-from-dean-smiths-pre-west-ham-united-press-conference.html' href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2021/10/29/aston-villa/1090938-the-key-quotes-from-dean-smiths-pre-west-ham-united-press-conference.html'>Aston Villa</a></strong> talks to the press during a press conference at Bodymoor Heath training ground on August 10, 2023 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Neville Williams/<strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2021/10/29/aston-villa/1090938-the-key-quotes-from-dean-smiths-pre-west-ham-united-press-conference.html' href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2021/10/29/aston-villa/1090938-the-key-quotes-from-dean-smiths-pre-west-ham-united-press-conference.html'>Aston Villa</a></strong> FC via Getty Images)
Unai Emery head coach of Aston Villa talks to the press during a press conference at Bodymoor Heath training ground on August 10, 2023 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images)

Aston Villa will be looking to push on this term, after securing a seventh-place finish last season, it was an incredible achievement considering Emery took the helm last October, with the club in 17th position in the Premier League, with just two wins from 12 matches. 

Aston Villa will be looking to get a result from St James' Park, having had an unbeaten pre-season, they had a good Premier League Summer Series Stateside as well as picking up wins against Lazio and Valencia.

Aston Villa have had a good transfer window with players coming in, in key areas of the pitch. Firstly they have picked up midfield maestro Youri Tielemans on a free transfer from Leicester City, defender Pau Torres from Villarreal and attacking player Moussa Diaby from Bayer Leverkusen.

According to TransferMarkt Aston Villa paid a combined fee of around £75.7 million to Villarreal and Bayer Leverkusen for Torres and Diaby. 

Youri Tielemans of <strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2023/01/10/aston-villa/1134138-four-things-we-learnt-as-stevenage-completed-an-unthinkable-comeback-at-villa-park.html' href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2023/01/10/aston-villa/1134138-four-things-we-learnt-as-stevenage-completed-an-unthinkable-comeback-at-villa-park.html'>Aston Villa</a></strong> during the pre-season friendly match between <strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2023/01/10/aston-villa/1134138-four-things-we-learnt-as-stevenage-completed-an-unthinkable-comeback-at-villa-park.html' href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2023/01/10/aston-villa/1134138-four-things-we-learnt-as-stevenage-completed-an-unthinkable-comeback-at-villa-park.html'>Aston Villa</a></strong> and SS Lazio during the pre-season friendly match between <strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2023/01/09/aston-villa/1134047-im-very-upset-unai-emery-reacts-to-stevenage-shock.html' href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2023/01/09/aston-villa/1134047-im-very-upset-unai-emery-reacts-to-stevenage-shock.html'>Aston Villa</a></strong> and SS Lazio at Poundland Bescot Stadium on August 03, 2023 in Walsall, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
Youri Tielemans of Aston Villa during the pre-season friendly match between Aston Villa and SS Lazio during the pre-season friendly match between Aston Villa and SS Lazio at Poundland Bescot Stadium on August 03, 2023, in Walsall, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Following the match against Newcastle, Aston Villa's next five games include a home game against Everton, a trip to Turf Moor to face Burnley, a challenging trip to Anfield to take on Liverpool, then it's a return to Villa Park to face Crystal Palace, and then another challenging trip, this time to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea.

Team News

Newcastle United

Newcastle United will be looking to hit the ground running at St James's Park on Saturday evening. They have had a really good transfer window bringing in the likes of Sandro Tonali, Harvey Barnes and Tino Livramento.

Sandro Tonali of <strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2023/08/05/newcastle-united/1152699-newcastle-united-boss-howe-yet-to-determine-starting-xi.html' href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2023/08/05/newcastle-united/1152699-newcastle-united-boss-howe-yet-to-determine-starting-xi.html'>Newcastle United</a></strong> looks on during the Sela Cup match between ACF Fiorentina and <strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2023/08/05/newcastle-united/1152699-newcastle-united-boss-howe-yet-to-determine-starting-xi.html' href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2023/08/05/newcastle-united/1152699-newcastle-united-boss-howe-yet-to-determine-starting-xi.html'>Newcastle United</a></strong> at St James' Park on August 05, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
Sandro Tonali of Newcastle United looks on during the Sela Cup match between ACF Fiorentina and Newcastle United at St James' Park on August 05, 2023, in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Just like Aston Villa they too have had a really good pre-season but they do have a few injury concerns ahead of the season opener, Fabian Schar is a doubt with a thigh injury also Joe Wilock is questionable with a muscle injury. Emil Krafth and Javier Manquillo are ruled out.

Emi Buendia #10 of <strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2023/08/06/womens-football/1152747-netherlands-2-0-south-africa-dutch-ride-south-african-wave-to-make-a-date-with-spain.html' href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2023/08/06/womens-football/1152747-netherlands-2-0-south-africa-dutch-ride-south-african-wave-to-make-a-date-with-spain.html'>Aston Villa</a></strong> dribbles the ball during the Premier League Summer Series match against <strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2023/08/05/newcastle-united/1152679-newcastle-united-2-acf-fiorentina-0-magpies-lead-after-first-day-of-sela-cup-action.html' href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2023/08/05/newcastle-united/1152679-newcastle-united-2-acf-fiorentina-0-magpies-lead-after-first-day-of-sela-cup-action.html'>Newcastle United</a></strong> at Lincoln Financial Field on July 23, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Neville Williams/<strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2023/07/28/leicester-city/1151998-a-new-era-for-the-foxes-leicester-city-202324-season-preview.html' href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2023/07/28/leicester-city/1151998-a-new-era-for-the-foxes-leicester-city-202324-season-preview.html'>Aston Villa</a></strong> FC via Getty Images)
Emi Buendia #10 of Aston Villa dribbles the ball during the Premier League Summer Series match against Newcastle United at Lincoln Financial Field on July 23, 2023, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images)

Aston Villa

Unai Emery will be hoping Aston Villa can continue their fine form from last term which saw them suffer only five defeats in 22 league games from the 1st of January. Emery will pretty much have a full squad to choose from on Saturday with there being only a couple of injury concerns.

Emiliano Buendia who suffered a serious knee ligament injury during training on Wednesday, appears to be out for a sizable amount of time.

Jacob Ramsey is ruled out and has not featured at all in pre-season since coming off in the UEFA Under 21s European Championship Final for England, Alex Moreno is another who hasn't played any part of pre-season and is ruled out.

Likely Lineups

Newcastle United

Pope; Trippier, Lascelles, Botman, Burn; Bruno, Joelinton, Tonali, Barnes, Almiron; Isak.

Aston Villa

Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Torres; Kamara, Luiz, McGinn, Bailey, Diaby; Watson.

Key Players

Newcastle United - Callum Wilson

Wilson is an important member of Newcastle United's team. Due to his ability to score goals and Premier League experience.

He had a great campaign last season scoring 18 goals in 31 league games, and has scored on the opening day of the season for the past three seasons in the Premier League

Wilson is a continuous threat to opposing defences because of his speed, agility, and finishing abilities. He can also open up opportunities for himself and his teammates.

Callum Wilson of <strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2023/08/04/newcastle-united/1152596-its-a-really-good-rehearsal-newcastle-united-boss-howe-looks-ahead-to-sela-cup.html' href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2023/08/04/newcastle-united/1152596-its-a-really-good-rehearsal-newcastle-united-boss-howe-looks-ahead-to-sela-cup.html'>Newcastle United</a></strong> in action during the pre-season friendly match between Rangers and Newcastle at Ibrox Stadium on July 18, 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
Callum Wilson of Newcastle United in action during the pre-season friendly match between Rangers and Newcastle at Ibrox Stadium on July 18, 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Aston Villa - Ollie Watkins

Due to his outstanding on-field achievements, Ollie Watkins is regarded as an important member of the Aston Villa team. He is an adaptable attacker with the ability to play either as a striker or a winger, and he has demonstrated the capacity to consistently score goals at the top level.

Watkins amassed 15 goals and six assists in the Premier League during the 2022–2023 campaign.

He also works hard and is prepared to track back and assist on defence. He is a favourite both among his teammates and the fans thanks to his leadership skills and sense of teamwork. These factors make Ollie Watkins a crucial component of Aston Villa's success.

Ollie Watkins of <strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2023/07/28/leicester-city/1151998-a-new-era-for-the-foxes-leicester-city-202324-season-preview.html' href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2023/07/28/leicester-city/1151998-a-new-era-for-the-foxes-leicester-city-202324-season-preview.html'>Aston Villa</a></strong> in action during a Pre Season Friendly match between Valencia CF and <strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2023/07/28/leicester-city/1151998-a-new-era-for-the-foxes-leicester-city-202324-season-preview.html' href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2023/07/28/leicester-city/1151998-a-new-era-for-the-foxes-leicester-city-202324-season-preview.html'>Aston Villa</a></strong> at Estadio Mestalla on August 05, 2023 in Valencia, Spain. (Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images)
Ollie Watkins of Aston Villa in action during a Pre Season Friendly match between Valencia CF and Aston Villa at Estadio Mestalla on August 05, 2023, in Valencia, Spain. (Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images)

Match Details

Here are the details on the game, on where it is being played, what time and where you can watch it.

Where is the game being played?

The game is being played at St James' Park in Newcastle.

What time is kick-off?

The game is scheduled to kick off at 5:30PM BST on Saturday evening.

How can I watch it?

The game will be televised on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League in the UK, and will be available to watch across the Sky Go and Now TV apps. Live coverage on Sky Sports beings at 5PM BST. Highlights will be free to watch on Sky Sports Football YouTube Channel and across Sky Sports' social media after the game is finished.