clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Newcastle vs. Aston Villa - Preview, Lineups & Talking Points

Can’t believe it, the season is already here!

Aston Villa v Newcastle United: Premier League Summer Series Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images

After 891 days without football, the wait is over and the Premier League is back at St James’ Park for the first time in forever. Well, maybe not in soooooo much time, but in quite a few weeks that felt like months and years for some.

Perhaps the fact that the Magpies are entering a season, for the first time in 20 years, in which they’ll roam football fields at the highest of European levels of play by taking part in the next edition of the UEFA Champions League has something to do with that feeling. Perhaps.

One thing, and only one thing, is clear: this Saturday, Aug. 12, one team will play the Villa(i)n role, and the other one will don a collective cape and play Superhero. Spoiler: the latter will be decked in Black & White stripes, the former not so much.

You can read everything Howe had to say here, as part of our pre-match coverage.

Probable Lineups

The Guardian prediction at the upcoming Starting XIs from the Magpies and the Villans is in, so let’s go through what could be coming from Newcastle’s Eddie Howe.

Lineup Notes

  • Not Available: Willock (hamstring, 10 Sept), Krafth (knee, 24 Sept)
  • Doubtful: Schar (hamstring)

Talking Points

  • Just a few weeks ago, we were all worried about Newcastle’s squad depth, how little room Eddie Howe had for building a strong rotation and making in-game changes, etc... How things have changed of late, haven’t they?
  • All of a sudden we’re struggling with picking the strongest XI. Should Elliot Anderson start in the midfield next to Bruno and Joelinton, relegating freaking Sandro Tonali to the bench? Should Howe go with Anthony Gordon or Harvey Barnes? Hell, should the Magpies go the distance and throw Tino Livramento on the left side of the defensive line as soon as today? Jesus Christ, the conundrums!
  • Now, let’s be honest for a minute. Assuming Fabian Schar is healthy and available, the five-back positions are locked in and set in stone. If Schar misses this one, then it’s most probably veteran Matt Targett on the left with Dan Burn sliding to the center of the line. Don’t overthink it.
  • Middle of the pitch: massive headache (for the good). I’d side with my fellow professionals over The Guardian here and name Joelinton, Bruno, and Tonali as Newcastle’s first starting trio of the season. They are the most talented, prolific, and industrial players in the squad at their positions. They come with experience, they are proven at the highest of levels, and there simply are no better-skilled players on the roster right now. Yes, I get it: Anderson has had a monster preseason. Keyword: preseason. Sean Longstaff is still a bit banged up. No risks taken here, no actual need to take them.
  • Up front things are perhaps even more complicated. With Gordon and Barnes more apt to the left than the right wing, it feels like Miguel Almiron will keep the starting role for a while unless injuries murder him. On the left, it’s a tossup. I think you can’t go wrong with any of Gordon or Barnes, honestly, but considering how ridiculously great Gordon played with the England underage squad earlier this summer (M-V-P! M-V-P!) I’d give him a chance over newcomer Barnes. Just split the bill, Howe, and make an “early” substitution by the 60th minute if needed.
  • No need to discuss whether Alexander Isak or Callum Wilson should start at the nine these days, or any more at all. Isak starts, and Wilson gets the super-sub-in-case-of-emergency role going forward. As simple as that.

CHN Predicted Lineup

GK Pope
DEF Trippier - Schar - Botman - Burn
MID Tonali - Bruno - Anderson
WNG Almiron - Gordon
FWD Isak

Newcastle XI

Aston Villa XI

  • Date: Saturday, August 12th
  • Kick-off: 17 :30 BST / 12:30 EST
  • Location: St. James’ Park, Newcastle (England)
  • Broadcasts: fuboTV (CAN) — SiriusXM FC, UNIVERSO, Peacock, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo, UNIVERSO NOW, NBC (USA) — Sky Sports Main Event, SKY GO Extra, BBC Radio 5 Live, Sky Ultra HD, Sky Sports Premier League (UK)

For all your international watching needs, check

Please do not share or discuss links to illegal streams here.

Howay the Lads!