The Magpies are without a victory in their last four in the top flight, though successive draws have edged them up to 16th in the table ahead of Brighton. The most recent of those was a stalemate with West Bromwich Albion, which kept the Baggies from gaining ground, but also showed the limitations of Newcastle themselves.
While West Brom and Sheffield United look doomed, Fulham have clawed back the points and are only in the relegation zone on goal difference, one point behind Newcastle, and it increasingly looks like one from three will fill the other spot to go down.
As for Villa, they have won only once in the last five, drawing with Wolves last time out, but with a game or two in hand on the teams above them they can kickstart their quest to reach the Europa League spots if they pick up a win here.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the game.
The match kicks off at 8pm on Friday, 12 March.
The game will be shown live on BT Sport 1 and BT Sport Ultimate. Subscribers can stream the match via the BT Sport app and desktop website.
Key forwards Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson are both out for Newcastle, as is Miguel Almiron, giving a problem for Steve Bruce in removing plenty of pace in attack. Fabian Schar is set to miss out too.
Villa remain without Jack Grealish, with Bertrand Traore and Morgan Sanson both doubts. Wesley is back in training but won’t be considered after a long-term injury, while Matty Cash has made a quick return.
NEW – Dubravka; Krafth, Lascelles, Clark, Lewis; Hendrick, Shelvey, Hayden; Willock; Joelinton, Carroll
AST – Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Luiz, McGinn; Traore, Barkley, Trezeguet; Watkins
Given the forwards they’re likely to line up with, a counter-attacking style isn’t going to help the home side. Villa could dominate and if they find a clinical edge, it’s tough to see the Magpies having much of a route back into the game. Newcastle 0-2 Villa.