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Villa Park
Saturday, 9 February
Kick-off: 1245 GMT
Coverage on the BBC Sport website, BBC Radio Five Live & highlights on Match of the Day

Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor (hamstring) is a major doubt along with Stiliyan Petrov (bruised toe).

Winger Ashley Young is available after a ban and centre-back Curtis Davies (knee) should be fit.

Newcastle left-back Jose Enrique (calf) is fit and should replace the suspended Charles N'Zogbia.

Habib Beye, Abdoulaye Faye and Obafemi Martins, who will be out with an ankle problem, are back from Africa Cup of Nations duty.

Aston Villa (from): Carson, Taylor, Sorensen, Mellberg, Laursen, Davies, Knight, Bouma, Petrov, Gardner, Reo-Coker, Barry, Berger, Osbourne, Young, Maloney, Carew, Harewood, Moore, Agbonlahor, Routledge.

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Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill:
"We live in a football world of instant gratification and Kevin will be aware that this resurgence will not happen over night. It will take time.

"As Kevin has said, he wants to be judged after several months in the job. What is obvious is that with Kevin and Newcastle, he will get time, but football has changed.

"Newcastle were able to compete with Manchester United the last time he was there for the best players in England, Europe and the world, but now there are other clubs like Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool who have gone big and there is far more competition now."

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Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan:
"We know how tough the trip to Villa will be, and after that we've got Manchester United coming up.

"It's a tough league but I'm a realist and we've been here before.

"Michael [Owen] has been working hard for us to make things happen and we know we can provide more for him. The service will get better, but Michael can score goals out of nothing."

BIG-MATCH FACTS

Aston Villa are targeting a place in Europe, but missed out on an opportunity to go equal fourth when surrendering a 0-1 lead to lose 2-1, away to struggling Fulham last Sunday - thus ending an eight-match unbeaten league run.

Newcastle are still to win under Kevin Keegan, but they did at least score their first goal in his current tenure, drawing 1-1 with Middlesbrough in last Sunday's Tyne-Tees derby at St James' Park. They travel in search of a first maximum in nine Premier League outings.

Villa have won 11 times in this Premier League campaign; the Magpies have lost 11.

Only Reading (no points) lie beneath Newcastle (two points) in the Premier League's "Last Six Current Form" table.

The Tyneside club are still 12 points short of the generally recognised safety target of 40.

The Randy Lerner era at Aston Villa got off to a successful start with a 2-0 win in this corresponding fixture last season.

Newcastle have won more matches (15) and gained more points (54) against Aston Villa than any other club in the Premier League.

CLUB FORM

ASTON VILLA
Club stats
Fixtures

Highest achievable after Saturday's matches: 4th
Lowest could fall: 7th

1. Lost two of 10 in all competitions.

2. Won three and drawn five of eight Premier League matches prior to Sunday's defeat at Craven Cottage; their first reverse since a 1-3 loss, home to Portsmouth on 8 December.

3. Completed 20 league matches since failing to score - the longest current such run in the division; the 1-0 away defeat to Manchester City on 16 September being the most recent occasion. Only missed the target twice in this league campaign; the goalless draw at Newcastle on 18 August being the other occurrence. Arsenal have scored in all but one of their Premier League matches.

4. Have 13 matches remaining to beat last season's total of 11 league wins, which they currently equal.

5. Drawn eight league games; only Fulham and Liverpool (10 each) and Blackburn (nine) have finished all square more often in the highest league.

6. Defeat will be their 200th in Premier League history.

7. Undefeated in four home league games; won two and drawn two at Villa Park since the loss to Portsmouth two months ago.

8. Chasing an 8th home league victory of the season.

9. One of three clubs to have scored in every home Premier League fixture; the others are Arsenal and Tottenham.

10. Visits to Reading and Arsenal follow this, before a home fixture against Middlesbrough.

NEWCASTLE UNITED
Club stats
Fixtures

Highest achievable after Saturday's matches: 11th
Lowest could fall: 14th

1. Gained one win in 11 league and cup games; 4-1, home to Stoke in the FA Cup third round replay on 16 January.

2. Not won in eight Premier League outings; drawn three and lost five since beating Fulham 0-1 at Craven Cottage on 15 December.

3. Failed to score in six of their last eight in all competitions.

4. The highest placed club with a negative goal difference in the Premier League (-15).

5. Scored two goals in the opening 15 minutes of Premier League games this term; only Reading have scored fewer (none).

6. One of two clubs yet to concede a penalty in the Premier League this season; the other is Manchester United.

7. One stalemate short of 150 draws in the Premier League.

8. Won only two league games on the road, against Bolton and Fulham. Lost the last four away league games including the 6-0 trouncing by Manchester United and 3-0 hammering by Arsenal in their last two.

9. Managed only one clean sheet in 25 away league matches; the 0-1 win at Fulham on 15 December.

10. Tough home fixtures against Manchester United and Blackburn follow, before a trip to Liverpool.

KEY PLAYER NOTES

ASTON VILLA

Gabriel AGBONLAHOR is Aston Villa's leading scorer, with seven Premier League goals.

NEWCASTLE UNITED

Obafemi MARTINS is Newcastle's top scorer with seven goals.

MARTINS is also the club's top marksmen in the Premier League with six.

If selected:-

Steve HARPER will be making his 100th career league appearance (Newcastle, Bradford, Stockport, Hartlepool and Huddersfield).

James MILNER will face a club for whom he was loan during the 2005-06 season, making 33 appearances for them and scoring three goals (27 of those appearances were in the Premier League, along with one of the goals).

HEAD TO HEAD

This season's reverse fixture was Sam Allardyce's first home match in charge of Newcastle. It also saw an uninspiring comeback from Michael Owen in a goalless draw.

Villa have only beaten Newcastle three times in 14 home Premier League fixtures (1-0 in September 1998, 4-2 in August 2004 and 2-0 last season).

Home and away
League (inc PL): Villa 48 wins, Newcastle 61, Draws 30
Prem: Villa 5 wins, Newcastle 15, Draws 9

at Villa only
League (inc PL): Villa 34 wins, Newcastle 18, Draws 17
Prem: Villa 3 wins, Newcastle 6, Draws 5

LAST SEASON'S CORRESPONDING GAME

Aston Villa 2-0 Newcastle United
27 August 2006 - Ref: Howard Webb
Villa scorers: Moore 3, Angel 38

THIS SEASON'S REVERSE FIXTURE

Newcastle United 0-0 Aston Villa
18 August 2007 - Ref: Howard Webb

REFEREE

Lee Mason (Lancashire)
Premier League referees' table
Lee Mason's 2007-08 Premier League card count
 

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watched the match last night villa 4-1 new castle villa where very good in second half disappointing performance from new castle
 
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