Newcastle manager Alan Shearer is forced to change his back four with Habib Beye (hamstring) and Sebastien Bassong (suspended) not being available, and as expected David Edgar and Fabricio Coloccini come in for this crucial game.
And Damien Duff maintains his place at left back, with Jose Enrique on the bench, and that’s a good move by Alan, given Damien is more than solid there, and Jose hasn’t played for 3 weeks.
As we had hoped, Danish striker Peter Lovenkrands replaces Jonas Gutierrez in midfield, and Peter can score goals of course, which we need today.
And the good news is that captain Michael Owen (groin) has passed a late fitness test and takes his place on the bench.
We’re not sure he’s 100% fit for today, but no doubt Alan will use Michael in the second half if we need goals.
Michael – on a personal note – this is a great chance for you to save Newcastle if you get on today – please play out of your skin for the team.
The bench is strong, but Nile Ranger didn’t make it – these lads Tim Krul, Ryan Taylor, Shola Ameobi, Michael Owen, Alan Smith, Jose Enrique, Jonas Gutierrez are on the bench and any one of them could turn out to be the hero for the Magpies today – as long as someone does. 😀
Our hopes are sky high, but our reality, in truth, is quite low as far as a win goes – but we’ll take the miracle today.
Howay The Lads!!
Aston Villa: Brad Friedel, James Milner, Nicky Shorey, Curtis Davies, Carlos Cuellar, Gareth Barry, Craig Gardener, Stilyan Petrov, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Ashley Young, John Carew
Subs: Steve Sidwell, Nathan Delfouneso, Zat Knight, Emile Heskey, Nigel Reo-Coker, Brad Guzan, Marc Albrighton
Newcastle United: Steve Harper, David Edgar, Damien Duff, Fabricio Coloccini, Steven Taylor, Nicky Butt (c), Kevin Nolan, Danny Guthrie, Peter Lovenkrands, Oba Martins, Mark Viduka
Subs: Tim Krul, Ryan Taylor, Shola Ameobi, Michael Owen, Alan Smith, Jose Enrique, Jonas Gutierrez
Referee: Chris Foy