We’ve an absolute belter from the Championship this evening as Aston Villa take on Newcastle at Villa Park (KO 17:30)
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Fallen Premier League giants Newcastle and Aston Villa will meet in the Championship on Saturday evening looking to put one over each other.
While Villa have made a slow start to life in the second tier of English football, the Magpies are flying high.
Rafa Benitez side have bounced back from defeats the opening two games to move ominously into contention at the top of the table. Their recent 6-0 win over QPR suggestion the Spanish boss had come to terms with the division.
Villa meanwhile are under the guidance of another Champions league winning manager in the shape of Roberto di Matteo. The former Chelsea star has experience at this level having guided WBA to promotion in 2010 while he began his career in league one with MK Dons.
However despite his experience Villa have not yet kick into life, the majority of their games ending in draws. The results have left Villa in the bottom of the table.
Very little has separated the two sides in recent times. Last season it finished 0-0 at Villa Park with the clash at St James’ Park also finishing in a draw, Jordan Ayew grabbing a point after Fabricio Coloccini had opened the scoring.
This will be the 162nd meeting between the pair with Newcastle holding the edge with 70 wins including a 6-0 win at St James’ Park on the opening day of the 2010-2011 season.
Villa have won 55 while 35 games ending in draws. Newcastle have won 19 times in total at Villa Park and they have not lost in Birmingham since 2011.
The Magpies have strengthened well for life in the Championship with Dwight Gayle and Matt Richie catching the eye early on while Jonjo Shelvey has also impressed.
Rudy Gestede and Ross McCormack are showing signs of a promising partnership for the home side.
It should be a pulsating clash between these two former Premier League heavyweights.
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