Date: 25th August 2006 at 12:12pm
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ASTON VILLA v TOON

Roeder will send out his side at Aston Villa on Sunday six months after claiming victory there in his first away match in caretaker charge of the Magpies. Goals from Shola Ameobi and Charles N’Zogbia handed the visitors a 2-1 win that day despite Celestine Babayaro’s dismissal, to give the stand-in boss six points from six and launch his team on the road to a top-seven finish.

Nigerian striker Obafemi Martins could make his debut after completing a £10million move from Inter Milan, and as the closure of the transfer window approaches, Roeder is working around the clock to land his remaining targets.

Aston Villa face Newcastle on Sunday and captain Gareth Barry’s future continues to dominate the agenda. Record signing Juan Pablo Angel believes it is vital Barry remains at Villa, and new boss Martin O’Neill is trying to convince the former England player to stay, intimating a new contract offer could be imminent.

O’Neill’s only fresh doubt for the visit of the Magpies is left-back Jlloyd Samuel who was substituted with a thigh injury during Wednesday’s 2-1 win against Reading.

Roeder will hope goalkeeper Shay Given has recovered from a back muscle strain and striker Shola Ameobi from hip and hamstring problems.