Newcastle v Aston Villa: Big stage can inspire visitors

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Kick Off: 2000, 20/02/2017

Stadium: St James’ Park

TV: Sky Sports 1

Four of the last five encounters between Newcastle and Aston Villa have ended in stalemate and we’re taking 27/10 for Monday night’s Championship meeting at St James’ Park to be another draw.

The Magpies go into this clash in much better form and chasing a quick return to the Premier League, but we’re hoping the big occasion will bring out the best in the visitors.

A Look At Newcastle’s Betting Odds

Newcastle are unbeaten in their last six Championship matches after recovering from an embarrassing blunder by keeper Karl Darlow to share the spoils in an entertaining 2-2 tie with Norwich at Carrow Road on Tuesday.

“I thought we responded brilliantly to going behind – the character of the players, and their reaction to the setbacks, was the most positive thing for me,” enthused Rafael Benitez after Jamaal Lascelles had registered a late leveller.

The Magpies have sometimes found the pressure of playing at St James’ Park more daunting than away trips this term, though, with Huddersfield, Wolves, Blackburn and Sheffield Wednesday all winning here, so 13/10 for Villa to avoid defeat could be another value option.

A Look At Aston Villa’s Betting Odds

Aston Villa know what it’s like to buckle under the weight of expectation of being a major club down in the second tier and a return of one point from their last seven league games has even left the midlands club in danger of being dragged into a second straight relegation battle.

However, after spending £60million on new players this season, Steve Bruce is determined to turn things around and declared after Tuesday night’s 3-1 home loss to Barnsley: “I’m convinced they are made of the right stuff and can get better. It’s difficult but that’s when you show your mettle, roll your sleeves up, batten down the hatches and get ready to try and ride the storm.”

Monday night’s trip to Newcastle will allow Villa to adopt different tactics, with the onus no longer on them to force the issue, and that could see Bruce’s side recapture the resolve which saw them draw 10 of 15 matches between mid-August and mid-November, with 13/2 for a repeat of September’s 1-1 scoreline against the Magpies at Villa Park worth support.

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Last result:

Norwich 2-2 NEWCASTLE – Ayoze Perez, Jamaal Lascelles

ASTON VILLA 1-3 Barnsley – Jonathan Kodjia

Head-to-head: Aston Villa 1-1 Newcastle, Aston Villa 0-0 Newcastle, Newcastle 1-1 Aston Villa, Newcastle 1-0 Aston Villa, Aston Villa 0-0 Newcastle

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Andrew works at the Press Association where he oversees all the company’s sport betting editorial, having previously worked on the Teletext Sport desk and been editor of the England cricket team’s website. A lifelong Huddersfield Town fan, his preferred way to unwind is to head for the hills on his bike.

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