STAR PREVIEW: Newcastle United v Aston Villa
[dropcap]H[/dropcap]uge day for the north east clubs on Saturday for different reasons.
First up, Middlesbrough travel to Brighton for a high noon shoot-out in the Championship. The two teams are locked at the top of the table on 43 points and it should be a pre-Christmas cracker.
In the Premier League Newcastle host Aston Villa for the only televised game of the day at 5.30pm, more of that in a moment, but Newcastle’s arch rivals Sunderland travel to Chelsea for the match on which all eyes will be on after Mourinho’s departure this week. To call it a relegation six-pointer would be over-egging it – a little – but make no mistake Chelsea cannot afford to slip up again and Sunderland will be desperate for the three points which will lift them out of the bottom three.
If there is going to a new dawn at Stamford Bridge, then the fixture list, on paper has worked out kindly for them. A home tie against Sunderland is as good as it gets given their woeful away form and it’s no surprises to see Chelsea priced up at 3/10 with Star Sports. Whether you can back them at that price is entirely another matter.
Chelsea go into this match without a manager although it’s widely touted that Guus Hiddink will accept the interim manager role for a second time. However, for the immediate visit of Sunderland assistant coach Steve Holland will take charge.
Hiddink isn’t exactly jumping at the challenge / poisoned chalice depending on your viewpoint. He said: “I want to get some good insight before I make my decision. I want as much information as possible. Chelsea are in a bad situation and there are reasons for that. I want to gain some good insights on that before I make my decision.”
Later in the afternoon, Newcastle play host to Aston Villa and this definitely is a six pointer. Aston Villa have not won in their last 15 league matches and are playing like a team who already know their fate. Depressing to watch them at the moment.
Newcastle have suddenly found form and impressive form at that with back to back wins against Liverpool and last time a 2-1 win over Spurs at White Hart Lane.
Newcastle will be boosted by the return of midfielder Cheick Tiote who has missed the last three games with a groin injury.
Aston Villa manager Remi Garde again expects to be without captain Micah Richards with the knee injury that has forced him to miss the last two games.
Newcastle United v Aston Villa
17:30 Sky Sports 1 / Sky Sports 1 HD
HEAD TO HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches)
Feb 2015 PREMIER Newcastle 1-0 Aston Villa
Aug 2014 PREMIER Aston Villa 0-0 Newcastle
Feb 2014 PREMIER Newcastle 1-0 Aston Villa
Sep 2013 PREMIER Aston Villa 1-2 Newcastle
Jan 2013 PREMIER Aston Villa 1-2 Newcastle
Sep 2012 PREMIER Newcastle 1-1 Aston Villa
Feb 2012 PREMIER Newcastle 2-1 Aston Villa
Sep 2011 PREMIER Aston Villa 1-1 Newcastle
Apr 2011 PREMIER Aston Villa 1-0 Newcastle
Aug 2010 PREMIER Newcastle 6-0 Aston Villa
This should be straight forward for Newcastle and I’m having a decent sized bet on them at around 21/20 with Star Sports.
RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-50 points)
BACK NEWCASTLE for 25 points at around 21/10 with Star Sports
RETURN SINCE START OF WORLD CUP: PROFIT 105.06 POINTS