Newcastle have defensive problems & Steve Bruce’s warning to Aston Villa

Newcastle have defensive problems

Newcastle United are in Premier League action on Monday night away at Aston Villa.

Three wins in their last five matches have lifted Newcastle up to 13th in the table with 15 points from 12 games.

Much of Newcastle’s success has been defensively; they have three clean sheets in the league.

However, for the trip to Villa Park, manager Steve Bruce has headaches at the back.

Ciaran Clark is a major doubt after the Irish international picked up a thigh strain during the break. Bruce said, “Ciaran is our biggest worry”.

Jamaal Lascelles is a long-term absentee with a knee injury, while the Magpies have doubts over Florian Lejeune and Fabian Schar.

If that wasn’t enough, Matt Ritchie is a major doubt for Aston Villa as well after a “setback”.

And finally, midfielder Sean Longstaff is suspended.

Steve Bruce’s warning to Aston Villa

How will the Aston Villa crowd react when Steve Bruce returns on Monday night?

Bruce laid out the following warning to Aston Villa in his Thursday presser:

I had the privilege to manage it, it was a great club, but you’re always disappointed the way it ends – I thought I would have demanded a bit more time, but that wasn’t the case after a difficult period where the club, financially, was in a difficult place.

We nearly got there – we lost in the play-off final – but overall I can look back and say I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It’s a big club with a big tradition and a big history. But I want to go back and beat them – it’s as simple as that.

The team that got up was the team that we practically put together. I was delighted for the players that I brought to the club. As I said, we nearly got there the year before, and Dean (Smith) took them that little extra (distance). And then of course the new owners came in, and it was a different ball game.

I think they spent more than anybody this summer. Fair play to the new owners that walked through the door – without them, I think Aston Villa would be in a real, real dark place. It’s been an interesting and unbelievable 12 months.

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