Both teams enjoyed remarkable success last season, breaking into new territories. Newcastle broke into the top four for the first time in nearly two decades, while Aston Villa finished in seventh position, enough to book their place in the Europa Conference League qualifiers.
Both sides have set their sights on new targets and goals ahead of the new season.
But who will come out on top in this season opener?
- Newcastle United lost just two games at home last season (W11, D6).
- The Magpies conceded the joint fewest goals in the PL last season (33, alongside Manchester City).
- Newcastle manager Eddie Howe has lost all four meetings with Emery by an 11-2 aggregate score.
- The hosts have not lost against Aston Villa on home turf since the start of the 2005/06 season (W9, D6).
- In 52 Premier League games between both sides, Newcastle has 24 wins, while Villa has 12 wins (D16).
- Aston Villa have kept 14 clean sheets against Newcastle in the PL. Newcastle have 19 clean sheets.
- The visitors are winless in their last four away league games (D3, L1).
- They have kept three clean sheets in their last ten away league games.
Newcastle will look to hit the ground running in the new season when they host Aston Villa.
The Magpies enjoyed the 2022/23 PL edition, which ended with them finishing in the top four for the first time in nearly two decades.
So they come into this new season in a good mood and with new targets. Their triumph in the new pre-season Sela Cup would also have further boosted their confidence and desire to add an established piece of silverware to their trophy cabinet, which has been gathering dust since 1969.
As manager Eddie Howe pointed out after recording wins over Villarreal and Fiorentina to win the Sela Cup, his boys will be eager to start well against Villa.
But this game may be more complex for Howe, who has lost all four meetings against an Unai Emery side by an 11-2 aggregate score.
But given that Newcastle have not lost against Aston Villa at home since the start of 2005/06 (W9, D6) will provide the St. James Park’s faithful confidence that their side, who lost just two home games in the PL last season, will get a good result here.
Meanwhile, after a seventh-place finish last season, Aston Villa have set their sights on the top six places this campaign.
They have already set the foundation to achieve that with the signings of defender Pau Torres and attackers Youri Tielemans and Moussa Diaby.
Their record under Unai Emery also makes them one of the teams to look out for this season, with Villa a much more difficult outfit since the Spanaird’s arrival. This is seen in the fact that the visitors earned more Premier League (PL) points than all but four clubs from the beginning of November 2022.
So there’s understandably a lot of excitement about Emery’s first full season at the club.
For this tie, Eddie Howe will be without Emil Krafth and Matthew Longstaff (ACL injury). But there is a chance that Joseph Willock (hamstring injury) and Fabian Schär will be fit in time to play this game.
Meanwhile, Unai Emery has a lot of players still nursing varying injuries, with Bertrand Traore, Tim Iroegbunam, Jhon Durán, Leander Dendoncker, Emiliano Buendia (ACL injury), Alex Moreno (hamstring injury) and Jacob Ramsey (thigh injury) all out.
Predicted Newcastle United line-up: Nick Pope, Kieran Trippier, Jamaal Lascelles, Sven Botman, Daniel Burn, Sandro Tonali, Bruno Guimaraes, Joelinton, Miguel Almiron, Alexander Isak, Anthony Gordon.
Predicted Aston Villa line-up: Emiliano Martinez, Matty Cash, Ezri Konsa, Tyrone Mings, Lucas Digne, John McGinn, Boubacar Kamara, Douglas Luiz, Leon Bailey, Moussa Diaby, Ollie Watkins.
Given that both sides drew 3-3 in pre-season, we expect another tight encounter.
So we predict Newcastle 1-1 Aston Villa.