I love Monday night football. I don't think I always did. I don't think I liked the idea of Friday night football or Sunday football for a while either. But it's the start of the week, I'm staying in the apartment in town tonight and the pub is just a short walk away. What isn't to like?
And that it's Steve Bruce coming back, it's under the lights and a chance of rain, I don't know. It just reminds me of something special. Maybe tonight will be one of those nights.
And lets be clear. We need to win tonight. And none of us should be surprised at how Newcastle will set themselves up to play and actually this should be exactly why we have to go out and have a go at them tonight for 95 minutes.
This is Steve Bruce and his number one priority is going to be to survive this season, so they're not going to come out all guns blazing. Or they might, but it will soon settle. But we know he's going to come out to not lose. They will counter for 90 minutes because that is the only way they can win.
And when you play against a side like that, the only way you can win is go at it and want it more. That is why the supporters play an important role. It's also why it's important that we go out to play this way. Any other way and we risk not winning and we risk that some start to think Dean Smith is sending out this side to not lose.
Match facts from the BBC
- Aston Villa are winless in six home league games against Newcastle, with the last two top-flight meetings at Villa Park finishing 0-0.
- Newcastle are unbeaten in 12 league meetings since a 1-0 away defeat in April 2011 (W6, D6).
- The Magpies haven't conceded more than once in any of their past 16 league fixtures against Villa, keeping seven clean sheets.
- Aston Villa have suffered three straight league defeats in the same season for the first time since a run of five in February 2017.
- Sixteen of the 20 goals conceded by Villa this season have come after half-time, costing them 11 points.
- Dean Smith's side have gone seven league matches without a clean sheet and had the division's fourth worst defensive record ahead of the latest round of fixtures.
- Their only victory in the past 17 Premier League matches played on a Monday was 6-1 at home to Sunderland in April 2013.
- Winger Trezeguet could become the first Villa player to score in three consecutive Premier League matches since Tom Cleverley in May 2015.
- Newcastle are looking to win three league matches in a row for the first time since November 2018. They've not won back-to-back away games in the Premier League since January 2018.
- They have 15 points after 12 league matches, six more than at the same stage last season under Rafael Benitez.
- Newcastle could score multiple goals in three successive Premier League matches for the first time since a run of five from September to October 2013.
- Seven of Newcastle's past nine league goals have been scored by defenders.
- The Magpies have lost 12 of their last 15 Premier League games played on a Monday. All 15 fixtures were away from home.
- Steve Bruce is winless in his last three competitive games against sides he previously managed, most recently losing 3-1 against Aston Villa in April while in charge of Sheffield Wednesday.
Dean Smith interview
And we have a winner. Just 124 people away from getting it spot on, it's Mikeholte. Mike, you have to email me, contact details above. Well done and thanks again to Luke for sorting.