Hello and welcome back to Don't look back in anger. Man, it's getting hard to not look back angrily, but we're still here, and where there's light, there's hope. I guess. Aston Villa haven't won in so long, but you have to think that this week is the week where something has to give. Newcastle United are the opponents, and they haven't been much better than Villa. Something's gotta give, right?
Don't look back in anger: The Musical
Ahem, I had to get that off my chest, sorry.
The last time we met
Surprise surprise, the last time Villa played Newcastle, Villa lost. The game finished 1-0, with a Papiss Cisse goal the difference between the two sides. It was a game of few chances, meaning that Villa's attack was useless, which should come to nobody's surprise. But most depressingly, the game was the only one that Newcastle won in a four month period. Three points for the taking, and three points dropped. A worrying omen.
Newcastle this season
If the omen's were bad, Newcastle's recent performances are even worse for Aston Villa. For much of the season, Villa could rely upon being just as bad as both Sunderland and Newcastle. Newcastle sadly, have beaten both Liverpool and Tottenham in their last two games, and now sit comfortably above both Chelsea and the drop zone, in 15th place.
It's not awful news for Villa. Newcastle have looked awful at times this season, and if they play as bad as they did against Crystal Palace in November, Villa have a shot at winning for the first time since August. Being so far removed from the competition in the league, Villa need this win more than ever.
Offensively, Newcastle are more threatening than Villa. New boy Georginio Wijnaldum has been prolific from attacking midfield; and when he isn't suspended, Aleksander Mitrovic seems to be finally finding his feet. Alongside the always dangerous Ayoze Perez, Villa's defence could be in for a rough ride.
Defense is the area that Villa need to exploit. Daryl Janmaat and Paul Dummett aren't the division's best fullbacks, and Villa's wingers need to put them on the back foot. Chancel Mbemba is their best defender, in fact, he is Micah Richards esque, in that he oftentimes finds himself carrying the backline. If Villa are to win, they have to attack. Playing from the back probably won't work. Heck, why not throw the kitchen sink at them. Or Gabby. I'm not sure which would be the most effective.