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Preview: Villa head into crucial fixture at Newcastle on Saturday

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Aston Villa haven’t won since August. That really needs to change Saturday on the Geordie shore.

Steve Bardens/Getty Images

America: We’re sorry in advance.

Thanks to Aston Villa’s visit to Newcastle United being moved into the 5:30 Saturday kickoff slot, the two biggest train wrecks in the Premier League are set to be on national broadcast television in the United States.

This will be glorious.

What to know about Villa

I… don’t know.

This team is bad, and its biggest issue right now isn’t talent. The defending that led to Arsenal’s second goal saw a lack of desire throughout the Villa squad to get back and defend, while the Claret and Blues didn’t have much going early.

Scott Sinclair and Jordan Ayew need to keep their places, being the two guys with the highest work rates, while I wouldn’t mind seeing others leave the XI — though Rémi Garde indicated a desire for continuity this week with the starting crew, so we’ll see.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t take much to know Saturday’s contest at St. James’ Park is set to be the defining moment of Villa’s season. A loss puts the club in a position it may never be able to recover from. But a win could give Garde’s side just the momentum it needs to hit a run of form, right as the fixture list eases up for Villa.

Still though, #FreeLibor.

What to know about Newcastle

Without doubt in my mind, this is the best time for Villa to be making the trip to the Geordie shore.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. The Magpies are coming off consecutive wins over Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, the latter being a match where they persevered and got three points at the death simply because they outworked Spurs at White Hart Lane.

But doesn’t it all have to come crashing down in dramatic fashion sometime soon? Newcastle doesn’t do prolonged runs of form — at least since Alan Pardew left — and at some point soon should return to the complete disaster that club has been.

There’s no better time to inflict that result than Saturday for Villa. Get an early goal and the Toon supporters could turn back on their side.

The odds

Bovada: Newcastle 20/21, Villa 3/1, Draw 49/20
Paddy Power: Newcastle 19/20, Villa 29/10, Draw 5/2
SkyBet: Newcastle EVENS, Villa 11/4, Draw 12/5

The prediction

Our long international nightmare will be over. Ayew will get on the scoresheet for the Claret and Blues, as will someone stupid off a set piece.

Newcastle 1, Villa 2.