2012 was the last time Newcastle managed a win on a Monday night. A 3-0 victory over Wigan Athletic with Gael Bigirimana securing victory on a dominant night for the Magpies. Since then, United have been in Europe, staved off relegation and actually been relegated, putting into perspective just how poor United’s Monday night returns have been. However, with a struggling Villa side travelling to the North East and Gallowgate flags being out again, can United break the curse?

Dwight Gayle’s return will be welcome news to United ahead of Aston Villa’s visit. After Saturday’s results in the Championship, Rafa Benitez’s side has dropped to second in the league. However, a victory will be enough to take them back top. Villa boss Steve Bruce travels to the Tyneside under pressure. The Villains haven’t won since Boxing Day, leading for calls for Bruce’s head with them slipping more and more into the Championship relegation battle.

On the other hand, United are looking to build on the midweek result at Norwich. With top goal scorer Dwight Gayle probably returning to the starting lineup. United have found their best moments this season with Shelvey and Gayle starting. This hasn’t occurred since the Burton game and United will hope this will mean a return to consistency. Rafa Benitez will lead his side out in front a packed Gallowgate with the new surfer flag being debuted. The fan group, Gallowgate Flags, have asked for all fans to bring a scarf along with hope of creating a great atmosphere. Hopefully, similar scenes will occur as at Alan Shearer’s testimonial match in 2006. On that a night, a magnificent atmosphere was created and hopefully the same will occur on Monday night.

Villa are without victory at St. James’ Park since their 3-0 victory in 2005. Perhaps more famous for Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer’s battle on the pitch. The pair were both sent off on that day and hopefully, United will not see a repeat result. However, they will have to be careful against a handy Villa side.

Feature Image credit: Martin Le Roy

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