Newcastle United vs Aston Villa Odds, Pick | Saturday Premier League Betting Analysis
Pictured: Alexander Isak of Newcastle United. (Photo by Domenic Aquilina/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Newcastle United vs Aston Villa Odds
|Newcastle United Odds||-134|
|Aston Villa Odds||+360|
|Total (Over / Under)|
Newcastle and Aston Villa kick off the season with a crucial match at St. James Park.
The Magpies had a historic season under Eddie Howe. They finished in fourth place and are back in the Champions League for the first time in 20 years. Now, there are expectations around St. James Park and Newcastle has a difficult schedule to begin the season. So, it's crucial for them to get all three points here with a trip to Manchester City waiting.
Aston Villa had a complete turnaround last season once Unai Emery took the reigns. He led them to a seventh-place finish and a spot in the Europa Conference League. Aston Villa made some key summer additions and once again hopes to challenge for a spot in the top six.
The market is low on Newcastle, but they were (without a doubt in my mind) the third-best team in the Premier League last season. They finished with a +0.85 xGD per 90 minutes, which was the second-best mark in the Premier League. Yes, that was better than Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool.
Newcastle absolutely bullies teams that try to play out of the back. Toward the end of last season, they did so to both Arsenal and Brighton, teams that were top five in the Premier League in PPDA and opponent build-up completion percentage.
Not only can Newcastle bully teams that like to build out of the back, but when teams are forced to play the ball long, Newcastle makes the match very transitional. Newcastle is the best transitional team in the Premier League and ranked first in final third to box entry conversion rate.
Alexander Isak has transformed Newcastle's attack. He's a striker without a weakness and can both receive and finish from nearly any angle. He gives Newcastle versatility and also creates space other attackers.
To improve, Newcastle went out in the market and got Sandro Tonali, a fantastic young midfielder who can play as a number 8, is very good in transition defense and will be perfect in a double pivot with Bruno Guimarães.
They also went out and got Harvey Barnes, who is more of a goal-scoring threat, to replace Allan Saint-Maximin.
Unai Emery turned Aston Villa around last season but ran incredibly hot just to get in a position to qualify for the Europa Conference League. From November 1st on, Aston Villa had a +14 goal differential, but their expected goal differential was just +0.40.
From a tactical perspective, Aston Villa changed into a team that plays out of the back, an Emery staple. The moves they made in the summer seem like perfect fits for Emery's system. They brought in Pau Torres to play centerback and signed Youri Tielemans to bolster their midfield and provide another creative option. They also — most importantly — addressed right wing, their biggest position of need. Aston Villa went out and acquired Moussa Diaby, one of the best right wings in the Bundesliga.
However, there are some question marks with how Emery is going to set up tactically. Emery has never played three at the back but will need to in order to make his defense work. Torres has never played on the right side and Tyrone Mings hasn’t played right center back. Torres is great in build-up play, but is a terrible aerial defender and struggles defending around the box, two areas where Mings is elite.
So, is Aston Villa going to have to play three at the back or sit one of his most important defenders for the opener.
Newcastle United vs. Aston Villa
Betting Pick & Prediction
Emery is either going to have sit Torres or Mings, or play three at the back and change his system against the best-pressing team in the Premier League.
Neither situation is ideal.
Newcastle was a top-five team in both PPDA and High turnovers last year. They are the most physical team in the Premier League and a brute to try and build up against, something Emery demands of his team.
Newcastle had a +1.46 xGD per 90 minutes and only lost two matches last season at St. James Park. Meanwhile, Aston Villa was poor on the road with a -0.42 xGD per 90 minutes.
Plus, two of Aston Villa’s key starters – Jacob Ramsey and Alex Moreno – are going to miss this match due to injury.
I have Newcastle projected at -170, so I love the value on them at -125 (BetRivers).