Newcastle United vs. Aston Villa: Solid Home Team is Our Premier League Soccer Pick

Nikki Adams

Friday, February 27, 2015 2:51 PM GMT

Can Aston Villa finally stop the rot when they travel to Newcastle on Saturday? Find out as we preview this week 27 Premier League clash and deliver our soccer betting verdict.

Tim Sherwood's Debut Falls Short
The anticipation at Villa Park was palpable last Saturday. A new era, Tim Sherwood's era to be exact, was on the verge of beginning and the applause from the rafters that greeted the newly appointed manager as he traipsed out on to the field to assume his position on the sidelines was deafening. Too many months of miserable results, pathetic losses and plain uninspired football had gone by, the win over Stoke City seemed almost a divine right, a just reward for what they'd endured.

By the end of the game, though, it was much of the same as Aston Villa succumbed to yet another defeat despite currying favour with bookies on the soccer odds board. A sixth straight defeat in all competitions. And just like that a familiar gloom descended over Villa Park, the bonhomie around Sherwood's appointment dissipating in the space of 90 minutes. That wasn't the expected script. Stoke City were banged up and on the heels of back-to-back 4-1 defeats, they were supposed to be ripe for the taking by Villa.

It wasn't just a devastating start to his managerial debut, it was also the worst kind of defeat to endure as Aston Villa simultaneously lost both captain and the game in stoppage time when Ron Vlaar was sent off for a clumsy penalty that Victor Moses happily scored to lift Stoke to the 2-1 victory and leave Sherwood doing a pretty good imitation of his predecessor Paul Lambert on the sidelines.

If the reality of Aston Villa's predicament hadn't set in before, it surely has now. Sherwood has only 12 games left with which to save Villa's top flight status (so, no pressure) after beginning on a loss to Stoke. It will be one of the most spectacular turnarounds in Barclay's Premier League if he does accomplish the feat. As it is, Premier League tenure is not a divinely ordained right. Aston Villa are currently matched on +125 future odds to be relegated.

 

Villa Must Stop The Rot
Villa are knee deep into the relegation bog on 22 points with a 5-7-14 record. They are riding a six-game losing streak across all competitions and are desperate to stop the rot. It will be a be a major achievement if they do it in Newcastle. St. James Park is a tough place to play. Some of the best clubs in England's top flight struggle there repeatedly (ehem, Jose Mourinho and his beleaguered league-leading Blues, spring to mind.).

To put a finer point on it, they are matched on Premier League odds as the hefty underdogs at +350 to win and take all three points in Newcastle. It goes without saying, they are a long shot soccer pick.

 

Newcastle United Rely On Home Form
Newcastle United's Premier League status appears to be all but safe for another season. They're perched in 11th place with an 8-8-10 record and 32 points, which includes a positive 5-4-3 record at home. Only three losses were incurred up to this point at St. James Park; one more than Man City and Man United have lost in their kops to put it into context of home advantage.

The three teams that managed to take all three points at St. James Park at the expense of the Magpies are Man City, Southampton and Sunderland.  Given the first two are Premier League high-flyers, those were understandable defeats. The defeat to struggling Sunderland was a missed opportunity, however, the Magpies let slip through their fingers in the lead up to the Christmas festivities.

Newcastle United are coming off their own devastation, a 5-0 defeat to Man City at the Etihad last weekend. In their case, coming to terms with the defeat to world-class players and defending  champions – not to mention on the road as well – is a doddle. Explaining away the pulsating bore-fest and loss to the mighty Potters at home isn't so simple. To think on his appointment Sherwood boldly suggested it would be possible for Villa to go the rest of the season undefeated.

 

Soccer Betting Verdict:
Clearly, the positive impact of a new manager coming in has reached its sell-by-date. Aston Villa are a long shot soccer pick to win at Newcastle United, one we wouldn't be so bold to recommend. The draw, which can be backed at +250, is a tempting option for those diehard fans that aren't ready to pull the plug on Aston Villa's season. For our money, though, we're backing the hosts at -105 to win outright simply because they are a solid home team and the Villans are mired in an existential crisis right now.

Soccer Picks: Newcastle United -105 at Bet365

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