Kick-off: 1230, 15/04/2023
Stadium: Villa Park
TV: BT Sport
Aston Villa look a value bet to blow the race for a Premier League top-four finish wide open by getting the better of Newcastle on Saturday.
The hosts have come out on top in their last three head-to-head meetings at Villa Park and go into this encounter in fantastic form.
We reckon 5/2 for another home win is too tempting to turn down with our first Aston Villa vs Newcastle prediction.
Emery relishing Villa challenge
Unai Emery has done a fine job since succeeding Steven Gerrard in October and Villa are pushing for a place in Europe next term themselves.
Last Saturday’s 2-0 defeat of Nottingham Forest at this venue made it 19 points out of 21 for the midlands outfit, who are sixth in the table.
Second-half goals from Bertrand Traore and Ollie Watkins were enough for Villa, whose rise under the former Arsenal manager is incredible.
They were in 16th, one point above the drop zone, when Emery took over and set the tone for his tenure with a 3-1 win over Manchester United in his first game in charge.
The Spaniard has certainly relished the challenge of returning to the Premier League, stating: “I grew up playing under pressure as a coach.
“I like this, playing against the best, being very, very determined because you are playing for something to win.
“I want to share with the players; it’s not pressure and it’s to be ambitious and to get to being competitive, to being stronger and stronger.”
Red-hot striker Watkins has scored in nine of his last 11 appearances and is Aston Villa vs Newcastle odds.
Last Villa line-up: Martinez, Konsa, Mings, Moreno, Young, Luiz, McGinn, Buendia, Ramsey, Watkins, Bailey.
Magpies must beware early onslaught
Admittedly, Newcastle represent stiff opposition after rattling off five consecutive victories to lie third, nine points above Villa with a game in hand.
The Magpies followed up impressive wins over Manchester United and West Ham by coming from behind to prevail 2-1 at Brentford.
David Raya’s own goal and an Alexander Isak strike turned things around in the space of seven second-half minutes.
Eddie Howe commented: “The challenge was can we come back, have we got the strength of character, the energy, the fight, to deliver a big 45 minutes?
“Three games in six days and this game was probably the wrong one to have at the end of it. It was an unusual test. They went very deep this week, so full credit to them.”
However, Brentford had been the better team in the opening period, with Ivan Toney missing a penalty and having a goal disallowed for offside before netting from the spot.
Villa have scored more goals in the first 15 minutes of home matches than any other Premier League team this term and will also target a fast start.
They are a generous 15/2 to be ahead after a quarter of an hour and that completes our Aston Villa vs Newcastle betting tips.
Last Newcastle line-up: Pope, Trippier, Botman, Schar, Burn, Willock, Longstaff, Guimaraes, Joelinton, Isak, Murphy.
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