Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan makes two changes to the side which drew with Middlesbrough last weekend.
Senegal star Habib Beye, back from the African Nations, returns to the United defense to start at right back and a surprise move is that Stephen Carr will switch over to the left back berth in place of Charles N’Zogbia, who is suspended because of 5 yellow cards. But this means that Jose Enrique does not come in at left back, as expected. Seems a strange selection, unless Kevin is looking for more experience at the back.
The second change sees James Milner return to the midfield (right wing) to face the club he was on loan with a couple of seasons ago. He replaces Emre, who captained Turkey during the week, who rather surprisingly drops down to the bench.
Abdoulaye is joined on the bench by Jose Enrique, Mark Viduka, Abdoulaye Faye and Steve Harper. Quite a strong bench. That means both Damien Duff and Joey Barton start again for Newcastle, in a game we cannot really afford to lose.
Villa make one change from the side which was beaten at Fulham with Ashley Young returning from suspension, as expected.
Lee Mason is the referee, and from what we’ve seen of him, he seems a decent enough referee.
Aston Villa: Scott Carson, Olof Mellberg, Wilfred Bouma, Curtis Davies, Martin Laursen, Stilyan Petrov, Gareth Barry (c), Nigel Reo Coker, Ashley Young, Shaun Maloney, John Carew
Subs: Stuart Taylor, Marlon Harewood, Zat Knight, Craig Gardner, Isaiah Osbourne
Newcastle United: Shay Given, Habib Beye, Stephen Carr, Steven Taylor, Claudio Cacapa, James Milner, Nicky Butt, Joey Barton, Damien Duff, Alan Smith, Michael Owen (c)
Subs: Emre, Mark Viduka, Jose Enrique, Abdoulaye Faye, Steve Harper
Referee: Lee Mason