The head-to-head stats between Aston Villa and Newcastle don’t make for the easiest of reading for Dean Smith’s side, who are winless in six home league games against the Magpies.

However, with neither side firing on all cylinders this season and just four points separating them in the Premier League table, anything could happen at Villa Park on Monday night. We preview the action.

Villa need to step up

We know that the results of recent meetings mean it doesn’t bode well on paper for Villa here. To compound this further, Newcastle haven’t conceded more than one goal in any of their last 16 meetings with the Midlands club.

Despite running out 5-1 winners when hosting Norwich last month, before also beating Brighton, Villa have since gone on to suffer a dreary run of results, losing their last three games in the Premier League.

It’s perhaps surprising, then, that Villa, who should welcome back captain Jack Grealish from injury, go into the game as the 6/5 favourites, so it could well be worth taking advantage of the 23/10 on offer for the visitors to grab all three points on the night – particularly given Newcastle come into this one having won the last two on the bounce and being unbeaten in three.

Newcastle’s flappable forwards

It should, however, be a concern for Newcastle manager Steve Bruce that there have been a lack of goals from Newcastle’s front men of late. Seven of the club’s last nine goals have come from defenders, with the other two being put away by midfielders.

In fact, the attacking trio of Joelinton, Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron have only scored one goal between them all season.

Defender Ciaran Clark, meanwhile, has netted two goals in the Magpies’ last two games and looks good value at 6/1 as an anytime goalscorer if he is passed fit to play. He is also 16/1 to be the first to score on Monday night.

Don’t expect a goal fest

You would have to go back to 2013 to find a match in any competition between these outfits where more than two goals were scored.

There has been an average of 1.1 goals put away in each of their last eight encounters and there is little to suggest that this figure is about to rocket up anytime soon.

While total match goals of under 2.5 is odds-on at 4/5, there is enough in the way of recent statistics to be a little bolder and take the 5/2 available for under 1.5 total match goals.

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