Newcastle United will try to win back-to-back away games tonight as they take on Aston Villa at Villa Park in the Premier League - Kick-off is 8:15pm live on TNT Sports.
Aston Villa will be hoping to keep up with the pack in the race for the top four at the expense of Newcastle tonight, while the Magpies are themselves hoping to close the 14-point gap between themselves and tonight's hosts.
Eddie Howe said in his press conference yesterday that he believes all it takes is a run of form and Newcastle could be back in the running for the top four, but realistically, that run has to start tonight otherwise that 14-point gap becomes 17 and that just seems a step too far.
Unai Emery has his Aston Villa side well-drilled and they look good for their top-four assault, but Newcastle have already put five past them this season, plus another three in pre-season, so we know we can get the better of them.
"I remember this game well from the start of the season, when Newcastle won 5-1 at St James' Park.
"Aston Villa had a horrible day in the north-east, with Tyrone Mings picking up a serious injury on top of their heavy defeat, but I am expecting them to get their revenge here.
"Newcastle got a good win against Fulham in the FA Cup on Saturday but they have lost four in a row in the league and have a dreadful away record - Sheffield United are the only top-flight team to pick up fewer points on the road this season.
"Villa Park is not the place you go to turn that kind of run around, and it feels like Newcastle's season is unravelling a bit because they cannot sign any more players in this window.
"Instead, they just seem to be trying to hang on to a few, with lots of rumours about who could still be leaving.
"Sutton's prediction: 3-1"
Confidence is clearly not high when it comes to Newcastle with the pundits, and to be honest, it's not that high here either.
We know we can beat Villa, we've proven it, but the contrast in our seasons since that opening day is massive, and that could be the determining factor tonight.
We'll never write Newcastle off, but we'll not be burning down the office if we get beat tonight - we'll save that for if we fail to get past Blackburn in the FA Cup.
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