St. James' Park
Aston Villa are the only other team to have lost their opening two games and face a tough challenge in Sunday's third match when they travel to Newcastle United. The Magpies were beaten by Chelsea 48 hours after travelling to Greece last week but have an extra day to prepare for this one following the home leg of their Europa League tie. They will be confident of picking up a victory to propel them up the table against a Villa side that at least managed to boost morale by defeating Tranmere Rovers in the Capital One Cup.
• Newcastle are looking to win their first two home matches of the season for the first time since 2000.
• Aston Villa have failed to win their last 12 Premier League matches. If they fail to win in Tyneside they will set a new unwanted top-flight club record.
Alan Pardew had his options cut by an injury to Ryan Taylor in Thursday's Europe League victory over Atromitos - the defender limped off after just 11 minutes and may well have suffered knee ligament damage. Taylor's injury will surely ensure that both Danny Simpson and Davide Santon will remain at full-back for the visit of Villa. Cheik Tiote is unlikely to be involved as he battles a calf problem, but Steven Taylor, Yohan Cabaye and Papiss Cisse should all return after sitting out the European clash.
T Krul • D Simpson, S Taylor, F Coloccini, D Santon • H Ben Arfa, V Anita, Y Cabaye, J Gutierrez • P Cisse, D Ba
Paul Lambert is reporting no new injury concerns and will likely ring the changes again for the trip to Newcastle following two straight defeats so far in the league. Villa did earn a 3-0 win in the Capital Cup in midweek, however, and some of the protagonists from that victory could retain starting roles here. Stephen Ireland and Fabian Delph were both dropped to the bench against Everton and will be eyeing recalls, while Ciaran Clark is back available after serving a one-match ban in the win over Tranmere. New signing Joe Bennett is included in the squad and could figure at left-back.
S Given • M Lowton, R Vlaar, C Clark, J Bennett • C N'Zogbia, K El Ahmadi, F Delph, B Holman • S Ireland • D Bent