Newcastle Vs Aston Villa, Sun 22 Aug 2010

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Newcastle boss Chris Hughton is hopeful that both Peter Lovenkrands and Danny Guthrie will be available for Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash with Aston Villa.

The pair missed the season's opener at Manchester United on Monday with groin and knee injuries respectively, and while the Dane did not train on Friday and club medics are waiting to see if the former Liverpool midfielder suffers a reaction to the work he did, Hughton is keeping his fingers crossed.

Summer signing Sol Campbell is still working his way towards match fitness, while Danny Simpson and Leon Best (both ankle), Steven Taylor (shoulder) and Dan Gosling (knee) remain on the sidelines.

Hughton is confident there will be no hangover as his players run out against Villa for the first time since they condemned Newcastle to relegation.

The team Hughton sends out against the managerless midlanders will include several survivors from the 1-0 defeat at Villa Park on May 24 last year which consigned the Magpies to a season in the Championship.

Mercifully for the Tyneside club, their stay in the second tier lasted only a season, and although the former Republic of Ireland international was in the dug-out that day as Alan Shearer's rescue mission was finally scuppered, he will put it out of his mind.

Hughton said: "I don't think it has any relevance to the game at all. It's something that is very much in the past.

"We have worked very, very hard since then to get back where we wanted to be, and we are now at home again in front of what will hopefully be a full house at St James', and we have got to make the most of that."

Villa are set to hand a debut to Stephen Ireland.

The midfielder is in line to make his bow after his arrival in midweek from Manchester City as part of the deal which took James Milner in the opposite direction.

Caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald is set to make sweeping changes to the side that started the 1-1 Europa League draw against Rapid Vienna with central defender Richard Dunne returning after being suspended for the clash in Austria.

Goalkeeper Brad Friedel, midfielder Stiliyan Petrov, full-back Luke Young and winger Ashley Young are also set to return.

Striker John Carew should be fit after a knee injury but fellow forward Gabriel Agbonlahor (hamstring), midfielder Steve Sidwell (Achilles) and central defenders James Collins (calf) and Carlos Cuellar (hamstring) are under treatment.

Rookie Austrian striker Andreas Weimann is out after suffering an ankle injury against Rapid - his former club.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Premier League
Newcastle United
Aston Villa

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