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Match Previews

Newcastle United v Aston Villa

9 years ago
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Newcastle United v Aston Villa
Sunday 5 February 2012 1.30pm (live on SKY)

We are riding on the crest of a ripple having tipped Newcastle to win with a clean sheet at Blackburn, a 15/4 result with our betting partners BET365. Luck and the excellent Tim Krul were on our side that night as he made an outstanding double penalty save to cap a great performance.

That siege mentality win will hopefully have given a bit of added confidence (play so badly and yet still win!!) to add to the return of Demba Ba, plus of course the very welcome introduction of Papiss Cissé.

Whether the Senegal pair will start is another matter but if I was a betting man, which I am, I think Ba must be a pretty sure starter and I’d like to believe Cissé would start as well.

Whatever Alan Pardew’s decision I’d respect it but after watching Best and Shola on Wednesday I just don’t see what we have to lose by throwing the pair straight in, unless there were any doubts as to their preparation for the match and it possibly backfiring with regard to injury etc.

This fixture gives a chance to welcome Shay Given back…and Charles N’Zogbia is also likely to play.

Tim Krul has this week been name-checking Shay Given as a major factor in his development, so it sounds as though we should still be grateful for Given’s contribution to this football club.

Statistics are often what you make of them; Villa have only won 2 of their last 8 league games, or if you prefer, they’re unbeaten in their last five league matches.

They sit in 12th currently and naturally this is a must-win match if we have aspirations, keeping top scorer Bent (10 goals) quiet will go a long way towards a clean sheet.

We are looking to our Senegal pair to energise the team as a whole and fancy a victory with a bit of added flair. Quality strikers can make everybody look better and we can’t see past Demba Ba for first goalscorer after his explosive striking prowess so far, that weighs in at 5-1 with  BET365 while we are also taking Cissé for last goalscorer at 11-2, ensuring a run for our money even if he has to come off the bench.

We also fancy a 2-0 win which pays 9-1 with BET365, just hoping that Mark Lawrenson hasn’t jinxed us as this is the first time he has tipped us to win since the ice age.

Just as interesting as what Pardew will do with his strike force, I wonder what role (if any!) Hatem Ben Arfa will play and indeed how he’ll set up the whole attacking half of the field.

I wouldn’t rule out a returning Obertan, now that his confidence has been tweaked with the excellent finish at Ewood Park.

Victory is a must and we fancy Demba and the boys to deliver.

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