After a disappointing 0-0 draw against Wolves last time out in the Premier League, Aston Villa will be hoping to return to winning ways when they take on Newcastle tonight.
Dean Smith’s side are in a bit of a rut at the moment, having won just once in their previous five games in the league, and their hopes of a surprise European finish this season has taken a major dent.
A clash against the Magpies, who currently sit 16th in the table, offers them the perfect chance to bounce back; but after the draw against Wolves, Smith may look to freshen things up a little by making some key changes.
With that in mind, below is a look at how Villa might line up.
In goal, Emi Martinez will keep his place in between the sticks after yet another standout display for Villa last time out against Wolves – the Argentine pulled off a couple of point-blank saves to preserve his clean sheet, including a stunning one at the feet of Conor Coady.
Villa were handed a major injury boost before the game with confirmation from the manager that summer signing Matty Cash is fit and raring to go, and that should see Ahmed Elmohamady drop back to the bench after he deputised for the former Nottingham Forest man recently.
In midfield, Morgan Sanson could drop out of the starting XI after making his first start in the Premier League last week, with Jacob Ramsey surely pushing for a recall to give Villa something extra in attack.
Further ahead, the £78,000-a-week earning Bertrand Traore hasn’t been in the greatest of form in recent weeks and is surely in need of being dropped, and that could see Anwar El Ghazi potentially make his return after his comeback from injury.
Throwing Cash and El Ghazi back into the line-up after only just making their way back from injury would be some big calls to make from Smith, but they could inject a sense of much-needed energy and freshness to the side amid their recent dip in form.
Predicted XI: Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Nakamba, Luiz; Trezeguet, Ramsey, El Ghazi; Watkins.