Milner goes back to Geordie land

Last updated : 02 November 2008 By Tom Vickers
James Milner will make a swift return to his former stomping ground as Villa take on Joe Kinnear's Newcastle at St James' Park on Monday night.

Milner, who was signed from the Geordies in August, has been steadily improving of late as he looks to justify his hefty £12m price tag.

Villa have been on form recently with three wins from their last three games including a 4-0 demolition of Wigan last time out on the road.

John Carew is likely to be restored to the starting line up after being punished for visiting a strip club on the eve of the crucial Ajax clash.

The big Norwegian striker should come in for Stiliyan Petrov, who he replaced at half time against Blackburn on Wednesday due to injury.

The game against Rovers showed Villa are struggling to keep up the high tempo which has been prominent over the past few games.

The Claret and Blue have been scintillating in attack but struggled to dominate in the midweek home clash.

Thankfully, like all good sides, Villa pulled a rabbit out of the hat and claimed a vital three points as they look to keep the pressure on top four - and Hull.


The Newcastle game will provide an interesting challenge as the Magpies are on a high after claiming a rare win against West Brom in midweek.

Kinnear's men will be on the crest of a wave and with Michael Owen likely to return, the Villa back four must be on their guard.

But, the away side know just how to play on their travels, they know how to counter attack and they know how to put the ball in the back of the net.

Villa have an incredible goal scoring record and will look to trouble what is best described as a fragile Newcastle defence.

Milner will be a key part of that as he provides the ammunition for Carew and Gabby Agbonlahor to fire in.

Both strikers are predatory and feed off fine service from both flanks meaning Milner and Ashley Young are crucial to any success up north.

The home fans didn't want Milner to leave and hopefully they will be reminded why they were so keen to retain the England under-21 winger.