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Newcastle vs Aston Villa Stats and Bet Builder Tips Preview

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In the space of a couple of seasons, it feels as though “the big six” has become a thing of the past and Saturday sees two sides looking to break the spell again face off against one another. Newcastle United climbed quicker than even they expected last season, Dan Ashworth, Eddie Howe and the rest of the technical staff led the club from the doldrums of the league table to the top four and the League Cup final. They enter this season as a Champions League club for the first time since the early 21st century.  

Aston Villa were similarly nervous about what was below them as recently as last season but the appointment of Unai Emery proved a masterstroke as the club swapped lower bottom half nerves for a Europa Conference League finish. They have since appointed Monchi as President of Football Operations and are looking to compete for European football again.  

Victory on the opening day for either club would send a statement of their intentions for the upcoming campaign and we are here to break the game down, looking at the lineups, players and matchups to bring you Newcastle vs Aston Villa bet builder tips.  

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Toon Army to back Tonali 

Despite Champions League football arriving at St James’ Park this year, Newcastle United have stuck to their guns as far as recruitment is concerned, looking to turn potential into proven top-of-class performers. It means that Eddie Howe is likely to name two fresh additions in his starting XI – Sandro Tonali and Harvey Barnes. Otherwise, familiarity will be important with Sven Botman and Alexander Isak looking to build on strong first years.  

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Plenty of change for Emery and Villa 

Last season, Villa performed best in various versions of a high energy 4-4-2 but that could change this year with Jacob Ramsey and Emiliano Buendia amongst those unavailable, and Spanish centre-back Pau Torres joining the ranks. The latter is expected to start on the left of a back three for Villa on opening day with Lucas Digne and Matty Cash pushed forward. Youri Tielemans and Moussa Diaby are also expected to make full debuts.  

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More of the same expected for Newcastle  

Newcastle’s rise into the top four came thanks to a high-energy, tenacious style of play that made them hard to beat and got the best from their creative outlets. The Magpies had the joint-best defence in the Premier League last season and weren’t too far short of their expected goals against numbers. They also had the fourth-best xG. Their fast-paced game plan caused issues for opponents too – they drew over two yellow cards per game last term.  

Villa love a scrap 

Villa struggled early doors and improved in the second half of the season, so it’s understandable as to why they ended up fairly mid-table for most metrics. Where they excelled was with referees. They were the most fouled team in the Premier League last season and that led to them drawing the second most cards from opponents but they weren’t angelic, receiving over two yellows per 90 themselves.  


Trippier a steady presence  

Kieran Trippier continues to be selected ahead of a number of full backs for England and though his name doesn’t shine as bright as others, his underlying numbers do. The right back is dependable. He attempts more passes than any of his Newcastle team-mates with over 75 per 90 minutes and his creation numbers are excellent – only one other player managed more than his 11 expected assists last season and Trippier set up seven league goals.  

Time for Isak to step up 

Callum Wilson was phenomenal for Newcastle last season but having spent around £60 million on Swedish sensation Alexander Isak, the club will hope he can step up and be the main man after a season of adjustment. While not quite reaching the levels of the man he’s in direct competition with, Isak did average 0.49 expected goals and over a shot on target per 90 minutes, still making him a big threat to opponents.  

Harvey strong and can hit a Barnes door  

Harvey Barnes was one of the shining lights in an otherwise drab Leicester City season, performing in front of goal like a player deserving of a bigger opportunity – and now he has it. Barnes is a different player to the mercurial Allan Saint-Maximin and Newcastle will hope he proves as reliable in front of goal as he was last season, overperforming his xG by four goals, the third season in a row where he has outperformed that metric. Someone to consider in the final third for a Newcastle vs Aston Villa bet builder.  

Villa hoping Ollie can lead them to glory  

Ollie Watkins looked to be the player Villa needed to replace if they were to succeed under Steven Gerrard. A change in manager breathed life into his season and the striker that scored only once in his first 11 matches finished the season with 15 goals. Watkins has now hit double figures in his last seven seasons as a professional despite rising up the leagues and that could continue – he was sixth for overall xG in the Premier League last season and averaged 1.3 shots on target per 90. 

McGinn leading under Emery 

John McGinn didn’t quite manage to be the leader Gerrard needed him to be but he has shone under Emery, the box-to-box midfielder has put in shifts all across the midfield and does the job asked of him. That largely includes committing and drawing fouls. Few players were on the receiving end of more pulls, pushes and trips than McGinn, who was saved by the ref over twice per 90 minutes. He dished out plenty himself, committing 1.37 fouls.  

Diaby new and exciting for Villa 

While others chipped in, few were able to produce the numbers Ollie Watkins produced last season and Moussa Diaby has been signed for big money to improve on that front. The Frenchman has been excellent in Germany with 15, 25 and 17 goal contribution seasons, the latter under the stewardship of another Spaniard in Xabi Alonso. He averaged over a shot on target per 90 minutes and could trouble Nick Pope.


Bruno Guimaraes vs John McGinn 

A clash between two players who appear to love being kicked – and they will have the chance to kick each other in the opening weekend. Bruno Guimaraes was the second-most fouled player in the Premier League last year and was hauled to the ground an astonishing 2.74 times per 90 minutes. John McGinn was amongst those at the top of the fouls drawn table, being fouled 2.21 times. Neither were afraid to commit a foul either, however, Guimaraes, who sits at the base of the Newcastle midfield, fouled opponents 1.49 times per 90 and McGinn, who will be tasked with supporting the attack with the press, forced the referee to blow their whistle 1.37 times per 90.  

Joelinton vs Boubacar Kamara 

If the above is a clash between those who love being kicked, this is the clash of those who enjoy doing the kicking. Brazilian forward-turned-midfielder Joelinton has found his home at Newcastle being an all-action, tenacious workhorse, supporting the attack and stifling the opposition by whatever means necessary, often going above the line – he was booked 12 times last season and committed 2.2 fouls per 90. Kamara is more composed in his game but still unafraid to do the dirty work, committing 1.73 fouls per 90 from the base of the Villa midfield where he was also fouled 1.57 times.  

Alexander Isak vs Ezri Konsa 

If Alexander Isak is going to lead the line for Newcastle, he will have to do the dirty work that Callum Wilson has done so well, halting the flow of the opposition and ensuring defenders don’t burst past him into open spaces. He is clearly getting the hang of this, committing over a foul per 90 minutes last season. His task will be tough against Ezri Konsa, the most fouled defender in the division last season. He drew a foul 1.73 times per 90 and was fouled in 30 of his 37 league starts.  


We have compiled an enticing Newcastle vs Aston Villa bet builder for your consideration, feel free to amend it to your liking with your own picks of the pack.

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Newcastle vs Aston Villa

Calendar 12th August
Football icon kick off 17:30
Football icon Harvey Barnes 1+ Shots on Target
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Barnes averaged 1.13 shots on target for a relegated side last season.

He will be playing closer to the opposition goal and therefore should have greater opportunities to let fly than at Leicester.

Football icon Aston Villa 2+ cards
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Villa received 2.11 cards per 90 last season. 

Newcastle drew 2.11 cards per 90 last season.

Football icon Joelinton 2+ fouls
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Joelinton averaged 2.2 fouls per 90 last season. 

Kamara was fouled 1.57 times per 90 last season. 

McGinn was fouled 2.21 times per 90 last season.

Football icon Alexander Isak 1+ fouls
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Isak committed 1.12 fouls per 90 minutes for Newcastle last season 

Konsa fouled 1.73 times per 90 and fouled in 30 or 37 league starts.

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