While the majority of the Premier League is focusing on the fourth round of the FA Cup, two teams who exited as swiftly as they entered in the third round will face off this weekend. Aston Villa hosts Newcastle United on Saturday, making up a match that was originally scheduled to be played on December 4th but was postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak among the Newcastle players. Aston Villa had an outbreak of their own and were forced to close their training grounds for 10 days. As a result, they haven’t played a league game at home since Boxing Day — so they’ll be anxious to get back to work at Villa Park this weekend.
Villa currently sit in 11th place in the league, having gone winless in their last three while actively losing their last two outings. They dropped a 2-1 result on the road against Manchester United at the beginning of the month, followed up by a 2-0 loss at Manchester City earlier this week. Despite a decent showing in both of those matches against the first-place and second-place teams, Aston Villa will look to capitalize on a struggling Newcastle this weekend and pick up all three points at home for the first time since their 3-0 win over Crystal Palace on Boxing Day.
As bad as Villa have been as of late, Newcastle has been worse, riding a seven-game winless streak while sitting in 15th place in the table. They most recently gave up a 3-0 result to Arsenal earlier this week and have shown no signs of pulling themselves out of the rut they’ve found themselves in. They’re seven points clear of the relegation zone at the moment, but that gap will easily get smaller if they don’t start picking up points as soon as possible. History isn’t on their side at Villa Park either, as they’ve failed to score anything at all in their last three league matches on the road against Aston Villa.
Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming
You can watch Aston Villa v. Newcastle United on Saturday, January 23 at 3 p.m. ET on NBC’s Peacock streaming service with a cable or streaming service login.
Moneyline (regular time): Aston Villa -210, Newcastle +540, Tie +370
Draw No Bet (regular time): Aston Villa -560, Newcastle +410
Total goals (regular time): Over 2.5 -182, under 2.5 +145
The Best Bet
All signs would generally point to Aston Villa coming out on top in this contest, given the length of Newcastle’s winless run and the fact that Villa will have home field advantage for the first time in almost a month. Newcastle are struggling and slipping ever closer toward the relegation zone, and it doesn’t seem like they’ll be able to magically pull themselves up anytime soon. Villa will also be looking for their third-straight clean sheet at home in league play, which would be the first time they’ve accomplished this since 2012. Your best bet would be to pick Villa emerging as the victors in this one.
Pick: Aston Villa wins.
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