Aston Villa v Newcastle United: Five players under the spotlight

This looks likely to be a very close game between two very evenly matched teams.

Both have had mixed start to the season, Aston Villa started with a win away at Arsenal but two losses has brought them back down to earth.

Newcastle will buoyed by their win against Fulham and they will hope to build on that this weekend. Loan signing Loic Remy could feature for Newcastle and Yohan Cabaye could make his first start since trying to force a move to Arsenal. It is very likely that his game could end in a draw, there is not much between the two sides.

Odds: Aston Villa 15/13, Draw 12/5, Newcastle United 14/5

Last meeting

Aston Villa 1-1 Newcastle United – Villa Park, 30th January 2013

Villa Park will always have painful memories for Newcastle fans after they were relegated there at the end of the 2009 season. They did get a win back in January, goals from Yohan Cabaye and Papiss Cisse put the visitors in a commanding lead before Christian Benteke pulled a goal back for Villa. It wasn’t enough though as Newcastle held on for the three points.

Five players to watch:

Loic Remy

Newcastle’s only significant this summer joined from QPR on a season-long loan. He will be expected to pair up with Papiss Cisse and help the Magpies climb away from the relegation places; they simply have too much quality to go down. Remy showed flashes of quality last year for QPR as he tried in vain to keep them in the Premier League. A goal this weekend could lift the entire club and set them off on a good run of form.

Yohan Cabaye

Cabaye will attempt to earn some respect back from the fans after reportedly going on strike in order to force through a move to Arsenal, ultimately no move ever materialized and he will have to continue his Newcastle career. It will be interesting to hear the reception he gets if he starts, after coming off the bench against Fulham he received a mixed reception from the St James’ Park faithful.

Libor Kozak

Aston Villa’s new striker could be in line for his first start in Claret and Blue this weekend after his move from Italian side Lazio. He will hope to form a connection with Christian Benteke as they both look to find the net for Villa in their attempt to move up the table in the Premier League. Having been top scorer in last year’s Europa League, Villa fans will be hopeful that he can start hitting the back of the net sooner rather than later.

Christian Benteke

The young Belgian forward played a massive role in keeping Aston Villa in the Premier League last year, this season has been no different scoring three goals in his first 3 league appearances. You can expect him to torment yet another Premier League defense this weekend, Villa fans will be relieved that they were able to keep hold of the in demand striker during the transfer window.

Brad Guzan

The American goalkeeper has established himself as Villa’s number one since replacing Shay Given at the start of last season. He is known to make some spectacular and Saturday may be no different, with Cisse and Remy potentially playing together Guzan will have to be on the top of his game.

image: © mollyig

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