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Aston Villa v Newcastle

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Pardew: Adding some French flair

Pardew: Adding some French flair

Newcastle United travel to Villa park to face fellow strugglers Aston Villa on Tuesday night determined for their first win of 2013.

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The Magpies currently sit in 16th place on 21 points, just two points out of the drop zone and could find themselves in the midst of a relegation scrap if results don't improve.

Their precarious position in the table can be attributed to one of the club's worst runs in recent memory, just three wins in their last 15 league games has seen them unable to halt their skid down the standings.

Alan Pardew, however, has gone some way to remedying the situation this month by bringing in group of talented Frenchmen to try and rescue their season.

Defenders Mathieu Debuchy, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Massadio Haidara; midfielder Moussa Sissoko and striker Yoan Gouffran could all make their debuts against Villa depending on the team Pardew decides to play.

Yohan Cabaye (groin), Hatem Ben Arfa (hamstring), Dan Gosling (knee), Haris Vučkić and Ryan Taylor (both ligament) are all enduring lengthy spells on the sidelines and will miss the trip to Birmingham.

Danny Simpson, though, could feature as he faces a late fitness test after recovering from a broken toe.

Meanwhile, Villa are also in danger of losing their top-flight status, with the Midlanders in 17th and sit just one point above the relegation zone on 20 points.

The Villans have endured their worst week of the season, after blowing a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 against West Brom last weekend.

They were then dumped out of both domestic cups by teams in lower leagues, first by Bradford City in the Capital One Cup in midweek and then by Millwall in the FA Cup at the weekend.

Paul Lambert's side will be desperate for victory when Newcastle come to town but if they are to win in the league for the first time this year, they will have to do it with a number of first team players out injured.

Mark Albrighton, Chris Herd (both ankle), Gary Gardner (ligament), Fabian Delph (ankle) and Ryan Dunne (groin) are all out of the midweek tie, but Nathan Baker could return to partner Stephen Ireland in midfield as he faces a late fitness test.

Posted: 28/01/13 14:42

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