Preview: Aston Villa vs. Newcastle United

 Andreas Weimann of Aston Villa celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Aston Villa at Britannia Stadium on August 16, 2014
© Getty Images
Sports Mole previews the Premier League clash between hosting Aston Villa and Newcastle, as Paul Lambert's side look for a first win in six against the Magpies.

Aston Villa will be confident of beating Newcastle United for the first time in seven Premier League attempts on Saturday following their opening-day win at Stoke City.

The Villans are being tipped to struggle this year, but began their campaign with a 1-0 victory at the Britannia Stadium thanks to an Andreas Weimann strike.

They also recorded a notable away success on the first weekend of last season, winning 3-2 at Arsenal, but ended up being embroiled in a relegation battle, so Paul Lambert will be hoping to avoid a similar story this time around.

Newcastle have strengthened well this summer, but discovered that they may still be some way off breaking into the division's top seven after going down 2-0 to Manchester City at St James' Park.

Remy Cabella, Jack Colback, Emmanuel Riviere and Daryl Janmaat all made their full debuts for the Magpies last weekend, and Siem de Jong could follow suit at Villa Park after recovering from a calf problem.

The former Ajax captain, who cost Newcastle around £6m, could replace Dutch compatriot Vurnon Anita in midfielder, in a switch that would probably mean Moussa Sissoko dropping into a deeper role.

Cheick Tiote and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa will be examined on Friday but are not likely to be available for their first appearances of the campaign. Paul Dummett is poised to continue at left-back in the absence of Davide Santon, who will definitely miss out along with Papiss Cisse and Ryan Taylor.

Lambert is slowly getting players back fit, with Jores Okore and summer signing Joe Cole upping their recoveries from injury with outings for the club's Under-21 side in midweek.

However, strikers Christian Benteke and Libor Kozak are still at least a month away from returning to action after missing the final stages of last term with Achilles and knee ligament problems respectively, and therefore the goalscoring onus will again fall on Weimann.

At the other end, Ron Vlaar and Philippe Senderos were heavily praised for guiding Villa to victory in Staffordshire and will continue in a defence that will also include impressive debutant Aly Cissokho.

Competition for Cissokho's left-back spot has decreased, with Joe Bennett joining Brighton & Hove Albion on a season-long loan, although it was a case of one in and one out at Villa this week.

Colombian midfielder Carlos Sanchez arrived from La Liga club Elche and could go straight into the team at the expense of Charles N'Zogbia, who may be demoted to the bench against his former club.

Recent form

Villa: W

Newcastle: L

Possible starting lineups

Villa: Guzan; Hutton, Vlaar, Senderos, Cissokho; Westwood, Sanchez, Delph; Richardson, Agbonlahor, Weimann

Newcastle: Krul; Janmaat, Williamson, Coloccini, Dummett; Sissoko, Colback; Cabella, De Jong, Gouffran, Riviere

Sports Mole says: 1-2

Who will win Saturday's match between Aston Villa and Newcastle at Villa Park?

Aston Villa
Newcastle
Draw
Aston Villa
34.4%
Newcastle
50.0%
Draw
15.6%
Edin Dzeko #10 and Stevan Jovetic #35 of Manchester City celebrate a goal by Jovetic during the first half of the International Champions Cup match against the Olympiacos on August 2, 2014
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