Preview and Prediction
The Citizens have just officially lost the Premier League title this season. Thus, their focus should be altered to the other competitions which they still have chances to win, FA Cup and Champions League later. The former one is on schedule this weekend as Guardiola’s men will be travelling to St.James’ Park, Newcastle. The host might not be their real contender but they should never look down on any teams at this stage. Otherwise, they will not be able to progress to the semi final.
The teams’ previous matches
The Magpies were unable to continue their positive result while hosting Aston Villa. They could only muster a 1-1 draw. Dwight Gayle’s goal gave them the lead first after converting Andy Carroll’s long pass from the right wing. Unfortunately, their lead was cancelled by El-Mohamady’s header to make The Villans level.
Manchester City had a worse result in the previous game in Stamford Bridge. They were bitterly beaten by Chelsea 1-2. Christian Pulisic took the lead first before the break. Then, Kevin De Bruyne equalised by his fabulous free kick after Raheem Sterling’s shot only hit the post previously. The lady luck eventually was on Lampard’s men side as Fernandinho was sent off which led to a penalty. Willian did not waste the opportunity to bag a winning goal for The Blues.
Steve Bruce tends to opt for 5-4-1 with transition to 5-3-2 relying on solid defensive stance and swift counter attack. However, he needs to come up with an alternative, should Joelinton, as a lone striker, be unable to break the deadlock. Playing Dwight Gayle along with Andy Carroll is worth considering. Yet, some key names such as Matt Richie, Ciaran Clark and Isaac Hayden will be sidelined due to their injuries.
Pep Guardiola might still be deploying 4-3-3 formation. Yet, Sergio Aguero, Phil Foden and John Stones plus Fernandinho will be ruled out for this game. Thus, Gabi Jesus, Nicolas Otamendi and Rodri are likely to take over their positions in the starting IX.
Players to watch
Newcastle’s key figures to watch in this upcoming fixture are the former Nice man, Allan Saint-Maximin who has the speed and good acceleration to penetrate their opponent’s defence wall, Jonjo Shelvey who excels at powerful long shots that can exploit Guardiola’s men’s defence and the goalie Martin Dubravka. Another notable man to watch is Andy Caroll who is the current top assist provider.
Meanwhile, on Manchester City’s side, Raheem Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne are the top key men to watch. The former has scored twelve goals and provided one assist while the latter has contributed ten goals and sixteen assists this season.
Newcastle vs Manchester City Prediction
It is bound to be a tight clash as David Silva and Co was already defeated before this season. Guardiola needs to come up with a different surprising tactics so that the home side will not be able to anticipate like employing 3-4-2-1 for example and attempt to look for set pieces which they can benefit to score later. Overall, The Citizens might still go home as a victor or at least snatch a draw.
Steve Bruce’s men are certainly not the favourite. They are only priced to win at 14.50, whereas the visitor is in the win market at 1.19. The odd for the draw result is at the value of 7.15.