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How Aston Villa could line up against Newcastle United

How Aston Villa could line up against Newcastle
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Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at how Aston Villa could line up in Friday's Premier League clash with Newcastle United.

Aston Villa will be looking to return to winning ways in the Premier League when they continue their campaign away to relegation-threatened Newcastle United on Friday night.

Dean Smith's side, who drew 0-0 with Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend, are currently ninth in the table, three points behind eighth-placed Liverpool with two matches in hand over the champions.

Villa will again be without the services of defender Kortney Hause on Friday despite the fact that he has made progress in his recovery from an ankle issue.

Wesley will also not be considered as he works his way back from a serious knee injury, but Morgan Sanson, Bertrand Traore and Anwar El Ghazi should all shake off minor issues to be a part of the squad against the Magpies.

The main talking point again surrounds the availability of Jack Grealish, who has missed his side's last four Premier League games with a shin problem; the England international is thought to have made strong progress this week, but he will not be available for this contest.

Smith is expected to keep faith with the majority of the side that drew with Wolves, but Ross Barkley is pushing for a spot in the side, potentially at the expense of Sanson.

Fit-again El Ghazi could earn a spot in the final third of the field, while Matty Cash - recently out with a thigh issue - has been declared fit and should be available to start at right-back.

Ollie Watkins has scored 10 Premier League goals during an impressive first season at this level and will again operate at the tip of the attack.

Aston Villa possible starting lineup: Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Luiz, McGinn; Traore, Barkley, El Ghazi; Watkins

> Click here to see how Newcastle could line up for this contest

Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:

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Wolverhampton Wanderers' Romain Saiss misses an open goal against Aston Villa in the Premier League on March 6, 2021
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Great BritainGreat Britain15181548
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Thursday's key events

· The women's heptathlon continues with the long jump, javelin and 800m, with Katarina Johnson-Thompson now out of contention following an injury (1.10am-1.40pm)
· Andrew Pozzi pursues his dream of an Olympic medal in the men's 110m hurdles final (3.55am)
· Tom Bosworth and Callum Wilkinson are among the British hopes in the men's 20km race walk (8.30am)
· Holly Bradshaw aims to improve on fifth in Rio to challenge Greece's Katerina Stefanidi and Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia for an unlikely medal in the women's pole vault (11am)
· London 2012 champion Kirani James goes up against current world champion Steven Gardiner in the men's 400m final (1pm)

· One of the toughest Olympic events takes place in Tokyo Bay as GB's Hector Pardoe takes on the men's 20km marathon swim (10.30pm Wed)

· Galal Yafai takes on takes on Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov for a spot in the gold medal bout of the fly (48kg-52kg) class (6.48am)

· Lois Toulson and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (daughter of First Dates' Fred Sirieix) line up for the women's 10m platform (semi-final 2am; final 7am)

· Australia face Belgium in the men's final (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
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