By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Newcastle United travel to Villa Park on Tuesday night to take on Aston Villa in the Barclays Premier League (7.45pm kick-off).
The Magpies go into the fixture on the back of a 2-1 home defeat against Reading, while Villa have exited both the Capital One Cup and FA Cup in the last seven days to lower-division opposition.
When the sides met earlier in the season, a Hatem Ben Arfa long-range stunner earned Newcastle a point at St. James' Park, cancelling out Ciaran Clark's first-half header.
Tuesday's meeting is the 155th match between the two clubs, and the 148th in the league. Along with Manchester City, Newcastle have won more league games against Aston Villa than against any other club.
Tickets for Newcastle's allocation are no longer on sale.
September 2, 2012 - Newcastle 1 (Ben Arfa 60) Aston Villa 1 (Clark 22)
Newcastle (4-4-2): Tim Krul; Danny Simpson (Gael Bigirimana 38), Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Davide Santon; Hatem Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye, Vurnon Anita, Jonas Gutierrez (Sylvain Marveaux 86); Demba Ba (Gabriel Obertan 86), Papiss Cisse
Aston Villa (4-1-3-2): Brad Guzan; Matthew Lowton, Ron Vlaar, Ciaran Clark, Eric Lichaj; Karim El Ahamadi (Charles N'Zogbia 73); Brett Holman, Stephen Ireland, Barry Bannan; Andreas Weimann (Gabriel Agbonlahor 64), Darren Bent
FULL RECORD v ASTON VILLA
P154 W66 D33 L55 F243 A241
(Last six games - all competitions)
Aston Villa - LWDLLW
Newcastle - LDLLLL
Aston Villa (v Millwall, FA Cup): Shay Given; Ron Vlaar, Ciaran Clark, Eric Lichaj; Matthew Lowton, Ashley Westwood, Fabian Delph (Barry Bannan 39), Charles N'Zogbia, Joe Bennett; Darren Bent, Andreas Weimann (Jordan Bowery 81)
Not used: Brad Guzan, Derrick Williams, Brett Holman, Stephen Ireland, Gabriel Agbonlahor
Newcastle (v Reading, Premier League): Tim Krul; Mathieu Debuchy, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, Davide Santon; Vurnon Anita (Gabriel Obertan 80), Yohan Cabaye (Gael Bigirimana 74); Shola Ameobi, Sylvain Marveaux (James Perch 65), Jonas Gutierrez; Papiss Cisse
Not used: Rob Elliot, Steven Taylor, Sammy Ameobi, Nile Ranger
Aston Villa - Midfielder Fabian Delph is doubtful after being forced off against Millwall last time out with an ankle knock. However, Nathan Baker should be available for selection again following a hamstring injury. Chris Herd (foot), Marc Albrighton (foot) and Gary Gardner (knee) all miss out.
Newcastle - New signings Moussa Sissoko, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Yoan Gouffran and Massadio Haidara could all make their debuts after arriving on Tyneside last week. Cheick Tiote is away on Africa Cup of Nations duty with Ivory Coast, while Hatem Ben Arfa (hamstring), Ryan Taylor (knee) and Haris Vuckic (knee) are sidelined.
A WORD FROM BOTH CAMPS
Paul Lambert, Aston Villa manager: "Every game is a cup final, a fight, and you are going to have to knuckle down and fight. We are going to have to go for it. We have to win and there are a few teams in the same situation. Alan has brought a few in from France. Maybe the influx of new players might give them a lift but they've still got to gel together. That might be difficult at the beginning."
Alan Pardew, Newcastle manager: "We needed to strengthen, there's no doubt about that, and we've accelerated some transfers that perhaps we were going to make in the summer - Sissoko being the main one in that group. It gives us depth and cover we haven't had with the injury crisis we suffered earlier in the season. Villa have got a fight to stay in the Premier League, just as we have. It will be a fight game - two professional teams really fighting for a victory."
Mike Dean (The Wirral): 2012/13 record - 25 games, 88 yellow cards, 5 red cards
PLAYED FOR BOTH TEAMS
Habib Beye, John Burridge, Franz Carr, Tommy Craig, David Ginola, Shay Given, Marlon Harewood, Stephen Ireland, James Milner, Charles N'Zogbia, Nolberto Solano, Alan Thompson, Steve Watson, Peter Withe
FANCY A FLUTTER?
To find the best odds for Tuesday's match, thanks to our Official Betting Partner Bet Butler, click here.
DID YOU KNOW?
Aston Villa have only won two of their 11 home games in the Premier League this season.