Newcastle United v Aston Villa 2015
Tim Sherwood is targeting six wins to steer us to Premier League safety, so a match against an out-of-form Newcastle side could be an opportunity to start fulfilling this ambitious aim. We’ve only won five games this season which makes the new manager’s target seem rather unrealistic though, and Newcastle will be able to play without any real relegation concern as they sit 10 points ahead of the drop zone…
Villa have failed to win against Newcastle in the last 7 league encounters.
Carver on the 1-0 defeat to Villa six years ago which relegated Newcastle
“Let me tell you, I never spoke to anybody for an hour after that full-time whistle went. It really hurt me. I wasn’t with the football club, but it’s my club.
“That hurt me. Every time you come up against Aston Villa that stays in there. I remember the reaction of their fans after the game and that stays inside and will never go away.
“So every time you come against Aston Villa it’s in the back of my head. It (relegation) happened to us a few seasons ago and it wasn’t nice.
“It’s funny how things work out in life.”
Sherwood on Newcastle
“I went there last season and had a good result and I am hoping to do the same this time with Villa.
“It was good – one of our best performances.
“We know it can be a tough place to go and play – but it can also be tough for them as the home team. There’s a lot of expectancy there and we’re hoping to take advantage of that.
“You need to make sure you stay in the game for as long as you can.
“Hopefully you get some anxiety among the home fans and take advantage.”
Sherwood on avoiding relegation
We have won five [league] games of football all season; we need to win six to stay in the division.
“Is it a bigger challenge than I thought? No. If we fail, we will fail trying, that’s for sure.”
2nd April 2005 Newcastle 0 Aston Villa 3
Three players were sent off for Newcastle as Villa recorded a comprehensive win. Hopefully the red cards won’t be used on Villa this weekend, though with our disciplinary record it’s possible. This match is also particularly relevant, for reasons which will be explained below…
Newcastle – Last five matches at home: W 1, D 2, L 2
Villa – Last five matches away: L 5
One to Watch
Papiss Cisse – Despite Newcastle’s struggles he has scored 10 goals this season
Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet
Like the Stoke game, fans will considered this a ‘must-win’ for Sherwood and his players. Although, what does it mean when you lose so many ‘must-win’ games? While Newcastle have endured an inconsistent season though, history is very much in their favour.
As well as the fact that Villa are without a win against Newcastle in the last seven league encounters (D3 L4), Newcastle are unbeaten at St James Park against Villa since 2005. The last time we won there is documented in the Memory Match section above.
We’ve won none of our last 11 league matches scoring only three and lost our last five away games in a row (we failed to score during those five).
Villa are the only team in the top four divisions without a league win in 2015, and judging by recent matches at St James Park Sherwood’s problems could be set to continue.
What We Pray the Football Gods Will Provide
Teams hovering in and around the relegation zone seem to be the most unfortunate. With Villa though, most of the time it’s been the team’s own incompetence rather than fate conspiring against them.
Still, we could do with a bit of luck if we’re to go on a winning run. It was a cruel blow to lose to Stoke via a last minute penalty, and on the subject of spot kicks, Villa are the only Premier League team not to be awarded a penalty in 2014-15.
We could do with some fortune in that department, and isn’t it about time Villa got a late goal in the league? If we could get one on Saturday it would be great, especially given that late goals have cost them Newcastle a total of five points in their three last home games.
Villa faded after their goal against Stoke but at least there were some signs of encouragement in this opening spell. A strong start is imperative against Newcastle as this is when we tend to do OK – Villa have scored the highest percentage (77%) of first-half goals in the league this season.
[quote_center]Villa are the only team in the top four divisions without a league win in 2015[/quote_center]
Why Villa Have Got This Game in the Bag
Pardew was often criticised by Newcastle fans but since his departure their form has been lacking. They’ve won once in seven matches since his exit and their last home win was two months ago.
Villa’s decent defensive record has been a much-needed positive of the 14/15 campaign but Newcastle on the other hand seem less solid at the back. They’ve conceded 42 league goals this season (only QPR and Burnley have conceded more) and they’ve kept one clean sheet in 14 matches.
Sherwood’s dropped points away from home with Spurs towards the end of last season but he has fond memories of St James Park and won 4-0 there. Could he replicate a similar win with Villa? Time will tell…
The manager has emphasised the importance of a return to form for Christian Benteke and the Belgian could be in luck – he’s scored in two of his three Premier League appearances against Newcastle.
The challenge continues to look more difficult for Tim Sherwood but he insists its just confidence that the players are lacking. While six victories between now and the end of the season might be unlikely, a win on Saturday would offer everyone a bit of hope and would be a step in the right direction.
Follow Lewis on Twitter here
Follow MOMS on Twitter here