Villa v Newcastle stats: Attacking aces key in Toon encounter
Villa have won four and lost just one of their last six home games against the Toon Army, though that defeat did come in the last fixture between the two sides.
Both teams have been on the scoresheet in their last four encounters and this is likely to be another tight affair, with none of the last five match-ups being separated by more than a single goal.
Villa will hope that their superior finishing will give them the edge this time out. Paul Lambert's side have the third best chance conversion rate thus far this season [11.8%], while Newcastle's meagre 2.2% is only better than West Brom, who are yet to score this season.
A late wonder goal against Fulham last time out from Hatem Ben Arfa - who Villa will be wary of having scored from distance in the reverse fixture last season - was Newcastle's first goal of the current campaign and taking chances has proven to be a problem for the Magpies beyond this season. Pardew's side sat second from bottom ahead of relegated QPR for the same statistic last season [8.1%], while Villa were again riding high in fourth [10.7%] behind only United, Arsenal and Chelsea.
It's likely to be the home side's attacking talents that will be the key once again and Gabby Agbonlahor will hope to back up the calls of many Villa fans who claimed that he should have been in the England squad last week. The forward, now operating from the left, netted the opener in a 1-1 draw between the teams at Villa Park two seasons ago and will hope to open his personal account for the campaign after a strong start.
The 26-year old picked up an assist for Christian Benteke's goal against Chelsea and was crucial the weekend before, winning two penalties as Villa beat the odds to secure victory at the Emirates. His directness is frightening for opposing defenders so it's little surprise that only 10 players have been fouled more times this season than Agbonlahor .
It's the Englishman's form since the turn of the year that led to support for the Villa man to return to the international fold, however, picking up an impressive WhoScored.com rating of 7.10 since January 1. His eight goals in 18 appearances in 2013 have come at an impressive conversion rate of 21.1%.
That figure is only bettered by three current Premier League players in the same timeframe to have netted at least five goals, with teammate Christian Benteke the most notable among them.
The fact that Villa  have had more efforts on target than Newcastle  this season despite playing three of the current top four is testament to Lambert's side's attacking verve. Meanwhile, defensively against Liverpool they looked extremely sound for the most part, limiting the visitors to their lowest shot tally  in over two years when they had just three against Spurs - a match in which the Reds had two men sent off.
If Villa can get the balance right between defensive solidity and the fast, attacking football for which they are now becoming renowned then they will hope to secure their first home win of the season this Saturday.
Find yet more statistics on Aston Villa and the rest of the Premier League, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings at WhoScored.com. Follow @WhoScored and their editor-in-chief @martinlaurence7 on Twitter.
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