Aston Villa welcome Newcastle United to Villa Park as both teams look to kick-start their season after opening weekend losses.
Having both suffered defeats on the opening weekend, victory could put either team into the top ten depending on results elsewhere.
Douglas Luiz is set to be in contention for Villa after missing last weekend’s defeat to Watford, after taking a week’s rest after his gold medal winning participation at the Olympics with Brazil in Tokyo in recent weeks.
Ollie Watkins (knee) is a doubt but Trezeguet and Morgan Sanson (both knee) are ruled out.
Newcastle could welcome Jamaal Lascelles back after he sat out their 4-2 loss to West Ham due to a lack of fitness, having spent the summer recovering from a foot injury.
Martin Dubravka (foot), Karl Darlow (fitness), Elliott Anderson (hip) and Paul Dummett (calf) are still ruled out.
- Aston Villa are unbeaten in their last six Premier League meetings against Newcastle United (W2, D4).
- Newcastle are winless in their last four Premier League visits to Villa Park (D2, L2), with both draws finishing goalless and both losses by 2-0 results.
- All four of Villa’s last four goals at home against Newcastle have come before half-time.
- Villa are unbeaten in four of their last five opening home matches in a new season (W3, D1, L1).
- Newcastle have lost three of their opening away matches in the last five seasons (W1, D1, L3).
Having lost Jack Grealish to Manchester City just days earlier, it was quite understandable that Villa would struggle at Watford as they adapted to life without their key attacking star, yet they just lacked energy although their creativity did improve throughout the match with Jacob Ramsey a stand-out player.
Newcastle meanwhile were superb in an attacking first-half performance yet they just switched off in the second half defensively, which ultimately cost them against super counter-attacks from West Ham on top of various wasted chances throughout the match.
Clinical finishing therefore feels like it could very well be key in this match because both teams will be looking for improvement, so I am going for a score draw if both teams can raise their game and Newcastle will have Joe Willock available to add extra quality to their midfield.
Prediction: Aston Villa 1-1 Newcastle United
Result: Aston Villa 2-0 Newcastle United