Newcastle v Villa preview
Bottom-of-the-table Aston Villa go in search of their first points of the season when they make the difficult trip to Newcastle United.
Last Updated: 31/08/12 2:21pm
Bottom-of-the-table Aston Villa on Sunday go in search of their first points of the season when they make the difficult trip to Newcastle United.
Paul Lambert has endured a tough introduction to the size of the task he is facing since this summer taking over at Villa and he has suffered defeats by West Ham United and Everton.
But on Tuesday a welcome win was recorded in the Capital One Cup over Tranmere Rovers and Villa will now be looking to build on that result.
Alan Pardew's Newcastle, though, are a daunting prospect at St James' Park, where they lost just three times last season in the Premier League on their way to fifth place.
Tottenham have also already been defeated on Tyneside in the new campaign to maintain their impressive record.
But a defeat was suffered in London against Chelsea and the loss to the European champions demonstrated the size of the task facing Pardew's squad as they bid to finish in the top four.
There will be a sense of the need to avoid any further dropped points when struggling Villa arrive at a ground where in August 2010 they lost 6-0.Newcastle defender Ryan Taylor is out of Sunday's clash with Aston Villa after suffering a knee injury.
The 28-year-old, who is due to have a scan, was hurt barely 10 minutes into the 1-0 Europa League qualifier winover Atromitos, a game which also saw defender James Perch leave the field with a neck problem which is set to sideline him too.
They will join midfielder Cheick Tiote (calf) and Shola Ameobi (hamstring) on the casualty list, although Pardew made seven changes for the Atromitos game and is likely to restore his big names.Aston Villa newcomer Joe Bennett has been included in the squad for the Premier League clash with Newcastle at St James' Park on Sunday.
The left-back made the switch from Middlesbrough in midweek in a £2.5million deal plus add-ons.
Defender Ciaran Clark will return after serving a one-match suspension. Clark was ruled out of the midweek Capital One Cup win over Tranmere after being red carded against Everton last weekend.
Villa signed Jordan Bowery from Chesterfield on Friday but it is unclear whether he will be involved.