Newcastle United vs Aston Villa
Newcastle United and Aston Villa face off in Pennsylvania on Sunday in the Premier League Summer Series in the United States, as the teams continue to prepare for the 2023/24 English top-flight season.
The Toon are coming off the back of an exciting first full season under the ownership of the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund. The Magpies secured a fourth-place finish in last season’s Premier League to earn their spot at the top table of European football after a 20-year exile.
Eddie Howe’s side will now aim to maintain those levels of consistency in the new season. The Magpies are currently unbeaten in their pre-season campaign after wins over non-league outfit Gateshead FC and Scottish giants Rangers, but will step up their preparations when they lock horns with a fellow Premier League side in the form of Aston Villa.
Aston Villa have also improved their fortunes vastly under former Arsenal boss Unai Emery, who guided them from the relegation contenders to a seventh placed finish in the Premier League last season, securing Europa Conference League football.
The Lions warmed their boots last week with a 1-1 draw against Walsall, and will now want to get off to a good start against a far more difficult opponent.
Eddie Howe will need to add more quality and depth to his squad to cope with the rigours of Premier League and Champions League football next season, but the capture of Sandro Tonali from AC Milan is a real statement of intent, while Leicester City winger Harvey Barnes is set to follow suit.
The former impressed in his first 45 minutes of action against Rangers, and could get the nod from the get-go here, with playmaker Bruno Guimaraes likely to be introduced in the second-half off the bench.
Newcastle United possible XI: Karius; Trippier, Schar, Botman, Targett; Anderson, Longstaff, Tonali; Almiron, Wilson, Murphy