Newcastle United have been handed a potential advantage over Friday night’s opponents Aston Villa.
While Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp made headlines on the weekend following his rant bemoaning his side’s packed schedule, the Magpies appear to have bucked the trend by benefitting from the Premier League’s fixture list.
Steve Bruce’s side left it late as Callum Wilson and Joelinton combined twice to see off Crystal Palace 2-0 on Friday night and the club will be hoping for a repeat this weekend.
Palace struggled to get up to speed without star player Wilfried Zaha at Selhurst Park, managing just three shots on target against Newcastle.
That defeat made it two in a week for Roy Hodgson’s side, who were also beaten 1-0 by struggling Burnley on Monday.
Newcastle will be hoping that lightning strikes twice when they take on Aston Villa at Villa Park on Friday night, with Dean Smith’s team forced to play two Premier League games in five days.
Villa have travelled down to London to face West Ham United in tonight’s 8pm kick-off, so will have the same short turnaround that Palace dealt with last week.
Like most clubs during this intense period of fixtures, Villa are hampered by injuries, with Ross Barkley the latest to pull up with a hamstring strain last week.
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Kortney Hause, Frederic Guilbert and Keinan Davis are back in training, but Bjorn Engels, Wesley and Tom Heaton are unavailable for Smith's side
Villa are ninth in the Premier League table ahead of tonight’s clash with West Ham, but are just a single point better off than Newcastle in 13th.
Newcastle failed to win either of the meetings between the two sides last season, losing 2-0 at Villa Park in November before a 1-1 draw at St James’ Park in June.