The Magpies have won their last two Premier League matches, and are now just two points off fifth place, but Nicholas believes that their hosts will move to within one point of them with a tight win at Villa Park.
Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “I have been impressed with both of these sides. Steve Bruce wants to play better football but he has a lack of choices.
“Newcastle fans have to admit that this is a tough job and he is having to battle through, which I think he has done superbly thus far. Bruce may just be proving his point that he needs a couple of players. Mike Ashley may not be able to give him exactly what he wants but he could get a couple of loan deals or get one through the door if someone leaves.
“John McGinn is playing further forward and it is working a trick. Aston Villa need to nurture and control leads much better, and at times they leave themselves vulnerable. That being said, I have to admire the way Dean Smith goes about it. Villa is also Bruce’s old club and will sit in once again, but Villa will sneak it. There is enough about them to create enough chances.”
Nicholas predicts a 2-1 for the Villans.
Newcastle United’s season has been a difficult one to read, truth be told. For a long while it looked as if they were struggling to pick up any kind of meaningful momentum, and a relegation battle looked sure to ensue. Two wins in two matches has, however, casted a much more positive light on things over the international break. Another win on Monday night would be a massive deal for the Toon Army, who would never have imagined they could take nine points from three games at any point this season just a few short weeks ago. The reality is though, this Premier League table is still too close for any kind of meaningful judgement call on progress to be made. With just six points separating fifth and 17th, anyone will still fancy their chances of really kicking on and pushing for a high finish. If the Toon Army can prove Nicholas wrong and pick up a third successive win, they will fancy their chances more than most.