Aston Villa host Newcastle United in midweek as both teams look to tear themselves away from the relegation zone. The Villans are currently 17th in the league table with 20 points, one point behind the Magpies who are on 16th.
Where to Follow Live
The match will be broadcast live on BBC Newcastle from 7:45 PM GMT.
Aston Villa sit one point above the relegation zone and have a goal difference of minus 25, six goals worse than bottom placed QPR, as they look to arrest their downfall to the Championship. Paul Lambert's side have failed to win in any of their last six matches in the Premier league, losing four. Their last triumph came, when they pulled off a 3-1 victory over Liverpool at Anfield in mid-December.
The Villans have failed to show the same spirit and determination as they did against Liverpool, neither the high tempo movement against Arsenal, which saw them keep the Gunners to a 0-0 draw at Villa Park earlier in the same month. Villa's run has sprouted rumours over a possible exit for Lambert but owner Randy Lerner has recently attested his support for the manager and expects him to steer Aston Villa to safety by the end of the season. The West Midlands club have crashed out of the League Cup to Bradford City in the semi-finals and have lost their FA Cup fourth round tie against Milwall last week, mounting more pressure on Lambert to churn out a positive result against Newcastle.
Meanwhile, Newcastle's fall from grace has been one of the most intriguing of cases in the Premier League this season. The Magpies, who finished above Chelsea in fifth spot last season, guaranteeing themselves a place in the Europa league, are currently two points above the relegation zone and have managed only one point from their last five games in the Premier League, losing four and drawing one.
The club were also handed a shock exit from the third round of the FA Cup, where they lost 2-0 to Championship side Brighton. However, manager Alan Pardew, who was handed a eight-year contract this season, will be boosted by the five new French signings in the January transfer window, which include internationals Mathieu Debuchy and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. Newcastle will also be boosted by captain Fabio Collocini's decision to stay at Newcastle till the end of the season as they look to string in a series of positive results to take themselves out of any danger of relegation.
- Last Five Matches: (most recent first) L W D L L
- Last Result: Milwall 2-1 Aston Villa
- Last Five Matches: (most recent first) L D L L L
- Last Result: Newcastle United 1-2 Reading
Aston Villa: The Villans will be without Marc Albrighton (foot), Chris Herd (foot), Richard Dunne (groin) and Gary Gardner (knee) but may welcome back Nathan Baker who has recovered from a hamstring injury. Christian Benteke is also expected to make the trip after missing out against Milwall owing to illness.
Probable Line-up: (4-3-3)Guzan; Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Bennett ; Delph, Westwood, Ireland; N'Zogbia, Benteke, Agbonlahor
Newcastle United: Pardew could hand debuts to new signings Moussa Sissoko, Massadio Haidara, Yanga-Mbiwa and Yoan Gouffran. However, Hatem Ben Arfa (hamstring), Dan Gosling(knee) and Ryan Taylor (knee) are all sidelined. Danny Simpson has recovered from a toe injury but is expected to start from the bench.
Probable Line-up: (4-2-3-1) Krul; Debuchy, Yanga-Mbiwa, Coloccini, Santon; Anita, Sissoko; Gutierrez, Cabaye, Marveaux; Cisse