Newcastle host Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon, as both sides aim to continue encouraging spells of form in the Premier League.
The Magpies have begun to lift off in recent weeks, currently boasting a run of four league fixtures without defeat. With a shocking 1-0 FA Cup third-round loss to Cambridge United somewhere in the mix, Eddie Howe's men have followed two draws by a 1-0 win over Leeds and a 3-1 beating of Everton in the previous two - victories that have lifted them out of the drop zone.
A tough test awaits them on Sunday, however, as they host an Aston Villa side sitting 11th and largely continuing to impress under Steven Gerrard. Sunday's visitors have overcome a tricky run of form around December and January, and are now three games unbeaten in the Premier League, most recently seeing off Everton 1-0 before being held to a point by Leeds in an excellent 3-3 draw last time out.
Here's 90min's preview of this meeting.
How to watch Newcastle vs Aston Villa on TV
When is kick off? Sunday 13 February, 14:00 (GMT)
Where is the match being played? St. James' Park, Newcastle
TV channel/live stream? Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League (UK), Peacock (US)
Highlights? Sky Sports Football YouTube channel
Referee? Craig Pawson
VAR? Paul Tierney
Newcastle team news
Kieran Trippier was excellent in midweek, although the right-back will face a late fitness test following his forced withdrawal after his free-kick helped the Magpies earn a vital win against Everton. Javier Manquillo will be waiting in the wings.
Elsewhere, Howe will definitely be without Callum Wilson, Matt Ritchie, Isaac Hayden, Ciaran Clark, Paul Dummet and Federico Fernandez who all miss out through injury.
Matt Targett is ineligible to face his parent club, so there could be a debut for Dan Burn at left-back, while Bruno Guimaraes should be set for a full debut as well.
You can read 90min's predicted Newcastle lineup here.
Aston Villa team news
There might be a debutant on show for the visitors too, with Calum Chambers likely coming in to replace the suspended Ezri Konsa.
Meanwhile, Marvelous Nakamba is the only certain absentee as he continues his road to recovery.
Otherwise, Gerrard is not likely to chop and change his side, although we may see cameos from Leon Bailey, who has finally returned to training after sustaining another hamstring injury, and Bertrand Traore, who has recently returned from international duty with Burkina Faso.
You can read 90min's predicted Aston Villa lineup here.
Newcastle vs Aston Villa head-to-head record
Taking into account their overall record against each other, the Magpies have historically trumped the Villans. Newcastle boast 71 victories in the two clubs' 168 encounters, with Villa winning 58 - there have been 39 draws.
Recent years have favoured Sunday's visitors, however. Since the beginning of the 2019/20 campaign, Villa have managed two draws and three wins - including the 2-0 victory at Villa Park earlier in the season - against Newcastle.
Newcastle vs Aston Villa prediction
This one isn't simple to predict. Villa certainly have the quality and power to beat Newcastle but, following the January transfer window, it's evident that Sunday's hosts possess extra zip and threat among their ranks and have indeed started to pick up form themselves.
With two consecutive wins behind them, Howe's side will feel confident heading into this weekend's clash but, considering the threat that Villa will present, will face a tough challenge to come out with a third victory on the trot.
Ultimately, the sides may have to settle for a share of the spoils.
Prediction: Newcastle 2-2 Aston Villa
Source : 90min