- St James Park
- BT Sport 1
- Under 2.5 goals have been scored in three of Newcastle’s last four league games.
- Under 2.5 goals have been notched in six of Aston Villa’s last eight league assignments.
- Newcastle have won only one of their last seven home league fixtures.
- Aston Villa have lost just one of their last four matches on the road.
Newcastle in real trouble
Newcastle are just one point clear of the drop zone ahead of their crucial clash with Aston Villa on Friday, however, with several key attacking players out injured, the Magpies look ill-equipped to outgun their visitors.
Steve Bruce’s team were already among the Premier League’s most toothless outfits this season, but with Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron all sidelined, Newcastle look even lighter on threat in the final third.
All three attackers sat out Newcastle’s drab 0-0 stalemate with West Brom last weekend, and United could draw another blank against Villa on Friday.
Goals dry up for Villa
Aston Villa have had goal-scoring problems of their own in 2021, and Dean Smith’s charges have notched one or fewer goals in ten of their last 12 league assignments since the turn of the year.
The dismal run includes a haul of just two goals from their last five matches combined, and Villa’s lack of punch is threatening to derail their pursuit of continental qualification.
Expect a tight game at St. James’ Park
With both Newcastle and Aston Villa united in their struggles in front of goal, little in the way of quality attacking play is expected when they face off at St. James’ Park on Friday, and backing under 2.5 goals to be scored is advised as a result.
Three of Newcastle’s last four league outings fell below that total goals line, while under 2.5 goals landed in six of Villa’s last eight fixtures in the division – stats that suggest backers of the same market could be rewarded again this week.
In a game of few chances, a single shred of inspiration could prove the difference however, and the return of talismanic schemer Jack Grealish to the Villa ranks could allow the visitors to snatch a victory.
Each of the Villains’ last three league victories finished 1-0 and our correct score prediction tips them to carve out another slim triumph against a Newcastle team that looks desperately short on goalscorers.
Newcastle injuries and team news
Bruce is without an injured trio of key attackers with Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron all absent while defender Fabian Schar joins them on the sidelines.
With options light up top, Andy Carroll could get a rare Premier League start against Villa.
Aston Villa injuries and team news
Matthew Cash and Wesley are both still out for Villa, while Dean Smith is also sweating over the fitness of Bertrand Traore, Kortney Hause, Jack Grealish, Anwar El Ghazi and Morgan Sanson.