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STAT REVIEW: Newcastle away troubles Villa again

Aston Villa haven't beaten Newcastle in 12 games at their ground and last night’s disappointing performance extended this run.

Newcastle United v Aston Villa - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Aston Villa games for fans are currently not as an exciting prospect as previously experienced earlier in the season.

Fans are enjoying a stress-free season currently after already reaching the 40-point mark.

However, they are absolutely desperate for the games to be exciting again after experiencing some rather mundane performances in recent weeks.

Newcastle United is far from a derby, but when the two teams play, there is a certain atmosphere surrounding the game.

Villa relegated them in 2009 and this paired with former Villa boss, Steve Bruce, now in charge of Newcastle; it only adds to this slightly sour relationship between the two fan bases.

Newcastle United v Aston Villa - Premier League
Steve Bruce directs his team
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

The game and performance of both sides was fairly uninspired.

Both sides were far from full strength with Newcastle missing their best players in Callum Wilson, Miguel Almiron, and Allan Saint-Maximin.

Villa on the other hand, were once again without the injured Jack Grealish and the now healthy, Matty Cash, who only warranted a return to the bench as he is eased back into the action.


The first issue for Villa currently is the switch from 4-2-3-1 to 4-3-3.

This system was effective against Leeds United as it prevented Villa from being overrun in midfield, however, the system hasn’t been needed in games against the likes of Wolverhampton, Sheffield United, and Newcastle.

Newcastle United v Aston Villa - Premier League
Dean smith looks puzzled after a disappointing performance
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

In the 4-3-3 formation, Villa have played 14 times; winning 4, losing 6, and drawing the remaining 4 with an average expected goals (xG) value of 0.9 xG on 8.71 shots on target each game.

Compared to 15 games in a 4-2-3-1 where Villa have won 7, lost 6, and drawn 2 games; their average xG was 1.58 xG on 11.47 shots on target a game.

Villa are clearly a more attacking side when they are in a 4-2-3-1 and in order to excite fans as well as improve the recent results, returning to this formation is essential.

They have the perfect player in Jacob Ramsey to play the number 10 role in the 4-2-3-1 formation.

Currently he is playing on the left side of the midfield three; this is out of position for him and is wasting his true potential.

Expected Goals

A draw was a fair result here, with Newcastle arguably unlucky to not be leaving this game with all three points as they had an xG of 1.23 xG compared to Villa’s 0.97 xG.

Villa had an opportunity in the 92nd minute to extend their lead to 2-0 with Anwar El Ghazi, but his effort was saved by the Newcastle keeper.

Game Management

Ultimately, regardless of the performance, it was Villa’s game management that cost them this game.

Having the ball in these positions in the 91st and 92nd minute and gifting the opposition the ball back in order to mount another attack is unacceptable.

Graphic: Wyscout

In a performance like this it was difficult to pick a stand out.

Ezri Konsa was his usual self, displaying another relaxed and confident display at the heart of defense.

Tyrone Mings on the other hand, was struggling with Joelinton as Konsa looked assured and defended to a high degree of quality once again.

He had seven clearances, two blocked shots, one interception, one tackle, and a 100% success rate in ground and aerial duels.

He is truly the definition of a ‘Rolls Royce’ defender and Villa are lucky to have him.

He is an immense asset to both Aston Villa and hopefully England in this coming summer.

Villa are facing a tough run of games now with Tottenham up next, then Fulham, Liverpool, and Manchester City.

If the performances are along the same lines as previous weeks, fans could find the next month or so quite disappointing.