A tasty old school affair in the shape of Aston Villa vs Newcastle sets for a feisty Monday night clash.
Consistency has been neither here or there for both sides, but Newcastle will be looking for their third consecutive win after going back to back for the first time this season.
Villa, on the other hand, are returning from the international break after consecutive defeats against Liverpool and most recently to arch-rivals Wolves.
Villa have struggled to string a series of results together since their return to the top flight but don’t let their results fool you into thinking they are a poor side.
The result to Liverpool was a tough one to take after a hard-fought battle against the league leaders, in which they looked set for all three points until a late flurry by the Reds.
Dean Smith’s men play some good football and are not exactly struggling for goals as they sit on 17, which is the highest in the bottom half of the table.
They struggle to link a solid defensive performance alongside an impressive attacking display. Aside from the win against Everton, in any game they have scored in they have also conceded, their ability to mix defence and attack has been their main downfall this season.
Villa have not been on the winning side in the last 12 meetings between the two sides.
Steve Bruce’s side are coming into this game looking to extend the good form they have shown in their previous three matches. A 1-1 draw against a solid Wolverhampton side who last time out beat Villa, and back to back wins against West Ham away and Bournemouth at home.
The former Villa boss is eager to show the Newcastle faithful that he has what it takes to take their club back to some level of success.
They face a stiff test on the road at Villa Park, with some of their key players doubtful. Jamaal Lascelles, the club captain, looks set to miss out and Ciaran Clark, his central defensive partner, is also a doubt for the meeting after being removed at half time playing for his national side during the international break.
Newcastle do have good defensive cover in the form of Fabian Schar and Paul Dummet, both capable of holding down a solid defensive performance.
Scoring goals has also become the duty for the defenders as of late. Five of the Magpies last six goals have been scored by a defensive player. In front of goal is where they’re struggling this season, even after a club-record signing in Joelinton who has just one goal to his name this season.
Though, struggling to find the net, he has had an important role for Bruce’s side, holding the ball up and linking play with the attacking midfielders to help set up their counter attacking tactic.