The Magpies’ advantage over the bottom three was cut to just one point following Fulham’s outstanding win at Liverpool, just hours after Steve Bruce’s side disappointingly drew against West Brom.
However, putting last weekend aside, the visit of Villa to St James’s Park provides United with the opportunity to put pressure on the likes of Fulham and Brighton ahead of their upcoming fixtures.
Lose and Newcastle risk losing grip of their own fate, which will undoubtedly prompt further calls for Bruce to be sacked.
However, as communicated by The Athletic’s David Ornstein, owner Mike Ashley could be prepared to stick with the 60-year-old head coach, even if the club are relegated to the Championship.
Speaking on his Ask Ornstein show, he said: “My information is, Steve Bruce has firm support from Mike Ashley and I’ve received some indications the view from the top of Newcastle is Bruce is here to stay and the players need to get their act together.
"That may well continue into the Championship if Newcastle are relegated. Mike Ashley does not want to get rid of Steve Bruce
"Now, we know how these things can change in football – they often do, but that’s a pretty interesting stance to take given the feeling of many supporters, given the feeling of many of those players.
"It doesn’t feel conducive to a successful survival bid.”
Meanwhile, former Newcastle defender Chancel Mbemba is being linked with a potential return to England with Liverpool.
Here are the latest transfer headlines from Newcastle, including more on Mbemba, and their Premier League rivals: