Appointing Di Matteo a good omen for Aston Villa... and Newcastle United

The Italian is the favourite to take the Villa Park post.

Roberto di Matteo is the bookies' favourite to become the new manager of Aston Villa, following Wednesday's takeover of the club by a Chinese consortium.

If history is anything to go by, the Italian's appointment would represent a sensible bit of business by the relegated Villians.

The last time Di Matteo, who won the Champions League with Chelsea, was hired by a Championship club he ended the campaign back in the top flight.

Villa's near neighbours West Bromwhich Albion were the beneficiaries of the 45-year-old's talents that time, as he led them to second place by a margin of 12 points.

And who were the winners that year? Chris Hughton's Newcastle United.

The Magpies follow Villa into the second tier next season, for only their second campaign outside the top flight in 24.

Both clubs appear to have received boosts this week, with Villa's ownership issues resolved and manager Rafa Benitez set to remain in the St. James' Park hotseat.

Can Newcastle and Di Matteo repeat their tricks of seven years ago?

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