Roberto De Matteo gives his verdict on Rafa Benitez's Newcastle ahead of Villa clash

Roberto Di Matteo

Roberto Di Matteo

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Roberto Di Matteo feels his Aston Villa team will have to be "patient" against Newcastle United.

Rafa Benitez's side travel to Villa Park on Saturday evening for a televised Championship game.

Newcastle are third in the table, while Villa, also relegated last season, are in 18th place.

And Villa manager Di Matteo said: "It's a big game for both clubs.

"Newcastle have probably started a little bit better than us, it's a team that likes to play a lot on the counter attack as well.

"They seem to be quite a solid team as well, so I think we'll have to be patient to break them down and create our chances.

"I think they're defensively very strong, and then try with the offensive players that they have to hurt you.

"I'm not sure whether it's going to be a classic, but it should have the ingredients for a good game."

Villa's home crowd averages 32,943 this season, and Di Matteo believes the club's fans can "make a big difference" this season.

Newcastle quickly sold their 2,800-seat allocation for the match.

"They (Villa fans) could make a really big difference for us," said Di Matteo.

"Playing at home in front of our fans is always very exciting and I'm looking forward to the game on Saturday. It could really kick-start our season.

"By winning on Saturday we could really get back in to the mix and really give us a boost of confidence."