Newcastle 1 – Aston Villa 1
Aston Villa picked up a valuable point at St James’ Park on Wednesday night after Newcastle took a second-half lead.
Dwight Gayle scored his first goal for the Magpies in 2 years to break the deadlock in the 68th minute. In a throwback moment, Gayle was teed up by Andy Carroll.
But Villa levelled 7 minutes from time when Ahmed El Mohamady turned home a Conor Hourihane corner.
Newcastle’s two new injury problems before Man City
Next up for Newcastle is their first FA Cup quarterfinal in 15 years. The Magpies host Man City on Saturday.
In the reverse fixture back in November, Newcastle held City to a 2-2 draw.
Following the Aston Villa match, manager Steve Bruce has two new injury concerns ahead of Man City.
Both Isaac Hayden and Matt Ritchie were subbed out of the midweek game with knocks.
Steve Bruce offered the following update on Hayden and Ritchie after the match:
Both soft tissue. Well have to wait and see. We hope we’ve caught it, it’s more precautionary. We have to err with caution.
Dean Smith wants people to check out Aston Villa’s XG stats
Villa remain second-bottom of the league after their draw on Tyneside. They have 27 points from 31 games, yet they remain just a point adrift of safety.
Since football restarted, Villa drew 0-0 with Sheffield, lost 2-1 at home against Chelsea, before holding the Magpies.
Yet, manager Dean Smith believes that Villa aren’t getting all the luck they deserve in recent matches, and he’s keen to focus attention on Villa’s XG (expected goals) stats:
We took a little bit of criticism for the Chelsea game but sometimes you have to be pragmatic in these situations.
We’ve conceded too many goals and chances through out the season.
(But) it’s no surprise to me that, and I know it’s only a marker, but the first two games on expected goals we’ve deserved to win…
We believe we’re better than we were before the break.
As I said, we took some criticism after the Chelsea game.
On expected goals, and I know that’s only a marker, we deserved to win both games.
I’d be amazed if we haven’t deserved to win this game as well on expected goals.
But that is only a marker.
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) June 24, 2020
So what were Aston Villa’s XG stats against Sheffield United, Chelsea and Newcastle?
According to Understat, Dean Smith is perfectly correct that Aston Villa have been outperforming their opponents with regards to expected goals. The results have been:
Aston Villa 1.01, Sheffield United 0.24
Aston Villa 1.57, Chelsea 1.14
Newcastle 0.66, Aston Villa 1.23