Newcastle welcome Aston Villa to St James’ Park in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon (2pm; TV: Live on Sky Sports). Will the hosts record three wins on the bounce for the first time this season? Or will it be the Villa boys who take another step in the right direction? This preview aims to answer those queries and more before deciding on our NUFC vs AVFC betting tips.
For the first time this season, the Magpies have started to show signs that they are not done with life in the Premier League just yet. When they were dumped out of the FA Cup by lowly Cambridge United, a real lack of fighting spirit seemed evident, though things have picked up since then. Eddie Howe’s men have collected seven points from a possible nine in the Premier League. Following wins against both Leeds United and Everton, Newcastle have climbed out of the bottom three. They are a point in front of 18th place Norwich with a game in hand, so things are looking up.
Villa have also enjoyed a decent run of late, losing none of their last three in the EPL, which will no doubt please fledgling boss Steven Gerrard, who had watched his side lose three on the bounce prior to their upturn in form. The arrival of the mercurial Philippe Coutinho has given the Villans a massive lift, and the Brazilian is already having a huge impact, scoring two goals, and registering two assists in three appearances. With a player on that quality complimenting what is already a strong squad, Aston Villa are quite rightly looking to make inroads into the top half.
Fighting for life at home
It is only in the last few weeks that the Magpies have started to look as though survival is within their grasp, but they have been fighting at home for some time. OK, St James’ Park is where they suffered that embarrassing FA Cup defeat, but if we ignore that, then Eddie Howe’s men have lost just one of their last seven at home, and that defeat came against the imperious league leaders Man City.
If we forget the game against City too, then the Toon have conceded more than once in just one of their last six at home, conceding a maximum of one goal in each of their last five. Such a fact tells us that Sunday’s hosts aren’t that easy to get the better of at home, despite their struggles this term.
Villa up and down on the road
At times this season, we’ve seen Aston Villa go away from home and impress. They got the better of Everton on the road recently, keeping a clean sheet in the process, while wins away against both Manchester United and Crystal Palace painted Gerrard’s men in a favourable light too.
However, they have not done it often enough and there has been little in between. Sunday’s visitors have lost each of the seven travelling matches that they’ve not won this season. On the positive is that they have won three of their last four away games against teams that currently reside in the bottom half.
What are the NUFC vs AVFC betting tips for this preview?
For one reason or another, a case could be made for both teams ahead of this fixture. The hosts have their tails up following their midweek exploits against the Toffees, while the visitors have been ticking along nicely, and have also been in fine scoring form of late. Confidence is likely to be up in both camps, but the question is at the current prices with the leading online bookmakers, does either team appeal as a value play? The short answer is not really.
One bet that does stand out is ‘Over 2.5 Goals’ at a shade under even money. As touched on in this preview above, both should arrive here feeling confident, and rightly so after they both notched three goals in the week. Moreover, there’s no been shortage of goals at St James’ Park this season. The hosts have scored a reasonably solid average of 1.41 goals per 90 minutes at home, while they’ve conceded an average of 2.00, meaning that an average of 3.41 goals are scored when the Magpies take to the pitch in front of a home crowd this campaign.
Moreover, at home against teams currently in the bottom half, the hosts have scored an average of 1.66 goals, while Villa have notched an average of 1.5 away against bottom-half teams. Between them, the pair have failed to score just once in such fixtures this season.
First goal on the cards?
Chris Wood is yet to find the net since switching Lancashire for Tyneside in January, but it’s surely only a matter of time before the hitman breaks his duck. A regular goal-getter for Burnley over the last few seasons, scoring an average of 0.41 goals per 90 minutes, the forward has made a positive start to life in a black and white shirt, despite his lack of goals.
He is averaging 0.30 expected goals per 90 minutes, as well as 2.67 shots per 90. Such numbers point towards the 30-year-old being a solid anytime scorer, and at odds of 15/8, punters are advised to back the New Zealand international to get the job done in front of what should be a rocking St James’ Park following recent results.
So these are the Newcastle vs Aston Villa betting tips for this preview at the best odd available:
- Over 2.5 goals @ 17/20 with BetVictor.
- Chris Wood to score anytime @ 15/8 with BetVictor or William Hill.
Bradley Gibbs is an experienced football writer. He is an expert analyst on Premier League, and all global football leagues & tournaments, for Just Bookies. Bradley has been published by many respected outlets, including USA Betting and the Racing & Football Outlook. He has also written betting strategy guides.