Aston Villa - Newcastle United Preview: Can the Villains make history repeat itself?

Newcastle United travel to already relegated Aston Villa, hoping they can continue their fantastic run of form.

Aston Villa - Newcastle United Preview: Can the Villains make history repeat itself?
Aston Villa vs Newcastle United Preview: Can the Villains make history repeat itself?

Newcastle United have been picking up much-needed points in the last few weeks, and they will be confident they can continue their good spell when they travel to rock-bottom Aston Villa this weekend.

The facts and figures

Aston Villa have had a dreadful season from start to finish. Their relegation has been a certainty for some time now and it was finally confirmed two weeks ago. 

Over the last few months, their form has failed to pick up. The last 11 games have all ended in defeat and in that time the Villains have shipped 32 goals. The last time Villa won a home game was all the way back in February.

Newcastle, on the other hand, have started a mini revival and find themselves going into this weekend outside the relegation zone. Eight points from a possible twelve has made that possible.

In terms of this fixture, Newcastle are unbeaten in their last eight matches against Villa, which may provide an extra confidence boost ahead of this weekend.

Colback battles it out in the rain. Photo Source: Birmingham Mail
Colback battles it out in the rain. Photo Source: Birmingham Mail

That famous match in '09

If Aston Villa do manage to pull off a shock win on Saturday, it could be the defeat that resigns Newcastle to relegation. Back in 2009, a 1-0 defeat at Villa Park meant Newcastle were sent down to the Championship on the final day of the season.

Newcastle's squad seem to be playing with a lot more belief this time around but some superstitious fans will be travelling down to the Midlands fully expecting a nervy and uncomfortable 90 minutes.

Who will feature?

Newcastle have looked a whole lot more confident at the back since Rafa Benitez arrived and actually had some time to work with the defence. For that reason, it is likely an unchanged back four will be named. Vurnon Anita is likely to remain at right back, after proving a revelation since being played there.

Moussa Sissoko has also looked like a different player and he is likely to retain the captain's armband, whilst Jonjo Shelvey remains benched.

Papiss Cisse failed to score yet again last weekend, so it may be time to recall fan-favourite, Aleksandar Mitrovic, back to the starting line up.