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Newcastle United vs Aston Villa Preview, Team News, Tickets & Prediction

Newcastle will be looking to get a historic season off to a flying start as they host fellow European campaigners. 

St James’ Park is the place to be in the North East of England on Saturday as Newcastle United gets their 2023/24 season underway against Aston Villa. Eddie Howe prepares for a massive season in the club’s history as they return to the UEFA Champions League with the third-oldest squad in the Premier League at 27.3, according to Transfermarkt. 

The Geordies are shaping into the season in credible form after going unbeaten in the preseason, with 2-0 and 4-0 victories over Fiorentina and Villareal respectively in the Sela Cup concluding their buildup. Yet, they must be wary of Unai Emery’s side, who beat them 3-0 at Villa Park in April.

Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe claims that his side’s victory in the pre-season Sela Cup has given his players extra motivation to challenge this season for a major trophy and add to Newcastle’s trophy cabinet, which has been gathering dust since 1969. There might be no better statement to make than claiming an emphatic win on opening day, though it is not an exactly straightforward fixture, given the opposition.

Taking this fixture into account, history is not on the side of Howe, who has suffered defeats in all his four meetings with Emery by an aggregate score of 11-2. Regardless, the stakes are different for Newcastle after their campaign last season and many will still demand the Magpies win in front of their home fans and start their campaign on a positive note. 

An exciting campaign is equally on the cards for Villa as they will now take part in European European commitment for the first time since the 2010/11 season.

Current boss and four-time UEFA Europa League winner Emery described it as a champagne moment that was indeed worth celebrating. Put into perspective and considering that the Villians finished above the likes of Tottenham and Chelsea, makes the feat more respectable. The Villains secured an exceptional seventh-place standing after a great second half of the season, finishing in a UEFA Europa Conference League spot for their first European adventure in 13 years.

In addition, Villa also earned more Premier League (PL) points than all but four clubs from the beginning of November 2022, showing their massive improvement in the second half of last season. Taking all of that into account, it is easy to see why there is a lot of excitement about Emery’s first full season at the club.

Emery did not seem too bothered about seeing his side slip twice in a 3-3 pre-season friendly against Newcastle in Philadelphia, mostly because the team boasted a rather strong record in league action last season when they scored first (W17, D2, L3). However, managing to open the scoring could be easier said than done, considering that Villa scored first in a PL visit to only one of the six clubs to finish above them last campaign. That came in a 1-1 draw against Liverpool at Anfield.

Villa, who lost their last two opening league games, will do well to get a result in this game considering the famously tough home crowd as well as Newcastle’s preseason record of five wins and two draws. Nevertheless, the Lions can also count on an impressive unbeaten run during the friendlies which include a 3-3 draw with their opening-day opponents in the Premier League Summer Series.

Match tickets

This blockbuster fixture kicks off at 5:30 pm on Saturday 12 August and it will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event with coverage starting at 5 pm. Precious tickets for the match have been sold on each club’s website and will already be unavailable. 

Considering the occasion of a new season, the huge banner displays, and the fanfare expected at St James’ Park, this game is a must-not-miss. Aston Villa fans who are looking to make a late dash for tickets could be lucky enough to secure theirs at ticket reselling sites.

Team News 

Sandro Tonali, Harvey Barnes, and Tino Livramento have been added to Howe’s squad over the summer whilst Joe Willock faces a late fitness test before the Villa game. This opens the door for Elliot Anderson to further establish himself after starring in the pre-season. 

Aston Villa signed the likes of Pau Torres, Youri Tielemans, and Moussa Diaby to add to an already exciting setup and the French attacker would be looking to continue his eye-catching pre-season form. Emery will also be pleased to go into this game without any injury worries. 


Newcastle striker Callum Wilson is likely to start given he has scored on the opening weekend for three seasons in a row and his incredible record in the month of August with 11 Premier League goals. Howe may not change too much and will likely elect for his trusted team and ease the new signings in for what they hope can be a memorable campaign.

Newcastle: Pope; Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn; Guimaraes, Joelinton, Anderson; Almiron, Wilson, Gordon 

For their part, Emery would want to build on the strong centre-back partnership between Torres and Ezri Konsa while retaining most of the team that worked so well last season. The Spaniard is improving the team’s adaptability and we may see some tweaks to their build-up play this season. 

Aston Villa: Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Torres, Moreno; Luiz, Kamara, McGinn; Diaby, Bailey, Watkins


Newcastle lost only five Premier League games in 2022/23 and they will want to keep that at their fortress which will have a role to play in the game against Aston Villa. Their visitors are also set for a remarkable campaign and two ever-improving teams will surely serve up an entertaining encounter. 

On paper, Newcastle looks like the favorites to win but it could be far from a straightforward affair between two sides who know to score goals in good amounts.

Newcastle United 2-2 Aston Villa

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