FT: Villa 1-2 Newcastle [Ben Arfa 18, Benteke 67, Gouffran 73]
Hatem Ben Arfa's strike on 18 minutes gave Newcastle the upper hand in the first half.
It was a frustrating opening period for Paul Lambert's team, who also lost Jores Okore to injury after he fell awkwardly during a challenge on Loic Remy.
Ben Arfa pounced to score from close range after Remy found space on the left and cut back from the byline.
Villa's best chance fell to substitute Ciaran Clark right at the end of the half. Matt Lowton whipped in a cross from the right which evaded everyone in a crowded penalty area. The cross ran through to Clark at the far post but he could only find the side netting.
Andreas Weimann broke clear of the away side's back four but dragged his shot wide across goal.
There was a let-off for Villa in first-half stoppage time when Yohan Cabaye struck a half-volley just wide of the target.
Villa's match console is the ultimate place to be to follow the game with Newcastle.
Paul Lambert's team are raring to go in front of the home crowd after a two-and-a-half week break.
Newboy Libor Kozak could make his Villa debut in what promises to be an intriguing encounter.
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