Silly season, the FA Cup and Newcastle

The Premier League is back and it's a big match with Newcastle coming to Villa Park tomorrow night. And it's big because Newcastle have lost four in a row in the League and they'll want to be putting that right and they might very well see us as an opportunity.

They might. 

But before we get to that and silly season, we didn't do what was necessary against Chelsea the other night, so we have a replay at Villa Park next week. And whoever wins the match on February 7th will play Leeds or Plymouth in the fifth round. The fifth round for those of you that don't know, is the match before you get to the Quarter Final. 

I had to look it up, so just making it easy for those that didn't know. But enough of that, back to Newcastle and silly season. 

Someone somewhere has said that Newcastle have approached us about Jacob Ramsey. Eddie Howe at Newcastle has said it hasn't happened and Unai Emery says he doesn't want him to go. I'm not sure where the story came from, but think clicks and ads. Think paper that turned into a website and is now desperate for clicks because people are not buying the paper any more. 

I guess we just have to accept these stories because it is January. But when you have one manager saying it didn't happen and the other saying he doesn't want it to happen, it's likely that it didn't happen. Or maybe it's the player putting it out there and maybe I'm in the minority, but I don't think Jacob Ramsey is dropping stories to the media like this. 

So I think it's someone trying to generate clicks. And before we get to the match tomorrow, what a week in football, right? Klopp is leaving Liverpool and there are rumours that Arteta might be heading to Spain to take over at Barcelona. 

How lucky can Manchester United get? Right, I'm back tomorrow.

Match facts from the BBC


  • The away team hasn't won this fixture in 16 league meetings since Newcastle's 2-1 triumph at Villa Park in September 2013.
  • Newcastle thrashed Aston Villa 5-1 at St James' Park on the opening weekend of the current campaign.
  • Villa can equal their record, set versus Oldham, of seven consecutive top-flight home clean sheets against the same club. It would also match Newcastle's longest run of successive top-flight away games against a single opponent without scoring.

Aston Villa

  • Aston Villa's tally of 13 wins and 43 points is their best record after 21 top-flight fixtures of a season for 125 years.
  • However, their only league victory in the past four attempts came against Burnley a month ago courtesy of an 89th-minute penalty.
  • Villa have the division's best home record so far this season, with 28 points out of a possible 30.
  • On Tuesday, they could go 18 home league matches unbeaten for the first time since the 1976-77 season. Their most recent league defeat at Villa Park came against Arsenal last February.
  • Ollie Watkins has gone six competitive appearances without scoring for the first time this season. He needs one Premier League goal to become only the third player to reach 50 for Villa, and will achieve that feat in fewer games than Gabby Agbonlahor and Dwight Yorke.

Newcastle United

  • Newcastle have lost six of their past seven league matches and could suffer five straight defeats in the division for the first time in three years.
  • A sixth successive Premier League away defeat would be their worst run since a streak of nine from December 2015 to April 2016.
  • Their solitary league away win this season was 8-0 at Sheffield United in September. The Magpies have only managed two points and eight goals from their other nine top-flight away fixtures this season.
  • Newcastle have conceded 32 league goals this season, one shy of their final tally in 2022-23.
  • Alexander Isak needs one Premier League goal to eclipse last season's debut haul of 10.
  • Eddie Howe has won six games as a manager against Aston Villa, second only to his seven victories versus Everton.