Newcastle United travel to Aston Villa on Monday looking to seal a third consecutive Premier League win for the first time in almost a year.
The Magpies have recovered from their stuttering start and have now lost just one of their last five Premier League games, lifting them to 14th in the Premier League table.
By contrast, Aston Villa have lost their last three Premier League games, slipping to 17th in the process, and desperately need to get back to winning ways in front of their own fans on Monday.
Can Villa pick up a much-needed win? Or will Steve Bruce heap further misery on Dean Smith? Read on for our Aston Villa v Newcastle United preview, predictions, team news and TV coverage information.
When is Aston Villa vs Newcastle United and where can I watch on TV?
Competition: Premier League
Venue: Villa Park
Date: Monday, 25 November 2019
Kick-off: 8:00 PM (UK time)
TV coverage (UK): Sky Sports Premier League & Main Event
Last five meetings: Aston Villa vs Newcastle United
20 Feb 2017: Newcastle 2-0 Aston Villa (Championship)
24 Sep 2016: Aston Villa 1-1 Newcastle (Championship)
07 May 2016: Aston Villa 0-0 Newcastle (Premier League)
19 Dec 2015: Newcastle 1-1 Aston Villa (Premier League)
28 Feb 2015: Newcastle 1-0 Aston Villa (Premier League)
Aggregate Score: Aston Villa (LDDDL) 2-5 Newcastle United (WDDDW)
Ones to watch
Aston Villa: John McGinn
John McGinn has been a rock for club and country this season, scoring, tackling and controlling in equal measure.
The Scotland international has been Villa’s main driving force so far and is unsurprisingly having his name associated with some big clubs. Smith will be relying on him to once again run the midfield on Monday.
Key stat: McGinn has made more tackles (33) and completed more take-ons (33) than any other Villa player in the Premier League this season.
Newcastle United: Miguel Almiron
Miguel Almiron continues to struggle for Newcastle United but after scoring for Paraguay in the recent international break, manager Steve Bruce has backed him to find his feet in the Premier League soon.
“He’s got two in three in internationals. I thought he was sensational against Bournemouth. I’ve never seen anybody in 20 years cover the distance and play with the intensity he does,” he told reporters. “It’ll come because he’s a multi-talented player. If he scores one, it’ll open up.”
His directness and work ethic will be key as Newcastle look to hit Villa on the break on Monday night.
Key stat: Despite not scoring so far, Almiron has attempted more shots (21) than any other Newcastle player in the Premier League this season.
Steve Bruce has made three changes from the team that lost to Wolves prior to the international break, including a return for Jack Grealish.
The English midfielder replaces Trezeguet to join Anwar El Ghazi and Wesley up front, having recovered from injury. There are also returns for Tom Heaton and Conor Hourihane who replace Jed Steer and Marvelous Nakamba respectively.
Confirmed XI: Heaton; Guilbert, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Douglas Luiz, Hourihane, McGinn; El Ghazi, Wesley, Grealish.
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Fabian Schar failed a late fitness test meaning he is only fit enough for the bench, with Paul Dummett starting ahead of him at Villa Park.
The centre-back replaces the injured Jamaal Lascelles in the only change from the team that beat Bournemouth before the international break.
Sean Longstaff will complete his three-match suspension on Monday and will be available for Newcastle’s clash against Manchester City next time out. Defender Jamaal Lascelles is out until 2020 with a knee injury.
Fabian Schar, Florian Lejeune and Matt Ritchie are all battling for a return to fitness.
Confirmed XI: Dubravaka; Yedlin, Clark, Fernandez, Dummett, Willems; Shelvey, Hayden; Almiron, Saint-Maximin; Joelinton.
Villa have lost their last three league games, while Newcastle have tasted defeat in just one of their last five, meaning the two sides have crossed each other in the table. Expect a dogged Newcastle to bunker in and play for the point.
Scoreline prediction: Aston Villa 0-0 Newcastle United