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Aston Villa v Newcastle: Ba Comes In Up Top

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Journalist


Demba Ba returns to the Newcastle United starting line-up for their trip to Aston Villa in the Premier League today.

The big front man, who arrived from West Ham in the summer, started the opening game of the season against Arsenal, but has since found himself on the bench for the Magpies in league action.

However, manager Alan Pardew has chosen to tinker with his strike force at Villa Park, and Ba comes in at the expense of Shola Ameobi, who is named among the substitutes.

That is the only change to United's starting line-up from the goalless draw at QPR on Monday night, which extended their unbeaten start to the season in all competitions to five games.

James Perch comes into the matchday squad for the first time this term and is named as a replacement, while there are also attacking options there in the shape of Sylvain Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi, Shola Ameobi and Peter Lovenkrands.

Aston Villa include former Magpies Shay Given and Charles N'Zogbia among their ranks, while there is also a home debut for new signing Alan Hutton. Midfielder Stephen Ireland - who had an injury-hit loan spell at St. James' Park last season - has to make do with a place on the bench.


Aston Villa (4-4-2): Shay Given; Alan Hutton, James Collins, Richard Dunne, Stephen Warnock; Barry Bannan, Stiliyan Petrov, Fabian Delph, Charles N'Zogbia; Gabriel Agbonlahor, Darren Bent

Substitutes: Brad Guzan, Chris Herd, Shane Lowry, Gary Gardner, Stephen Ireland, Marc Albrighton, Nathan Delfouneso


Newcastle United (4-4-2): Tim Krul; Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Ryan Taylor; Gabriel Obertan, Yohan Cabaye, Cheik Tiote, Jonas Gutierrez; Leon Best, Demba Ba

Substitutes: Rob Elliot, James Perch, Danny Guthrie, Sylvain Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi, Peter Lovenkrands, Shola Ameobi