Newcastle vs Manchester City Preview And Predictions
There is something devastatingly cold and ruthless about this Manchester City side, embodied in particular by new signing, Erling Haaland.
This iteration of the reigning Premier League champions does not need a lot of chances to defeat teams by huge margins as seen by their 4-0 defeat of Bournemouth last week from an xG of 1.75.
Their Norwegian forward does not need many touches of the ball to make his mark in a game. Against Bournemouth, the 22-year-old touched the ball eight times in 74 minutes and made just two passes. One of the passes was an assist for the first goal.
In fact, their play this season has seen valid questions raised about how they already look like Champions in waiting already. The answer to that might lie in their performance this weekend against a Newcastle team that seeks to re-use the playbook that Man City themselves drew up.
The Magpies are a state-owned side with VERY deep pockets and a modern manager who has got his team pulling together to achieve his goals.
Last season, the Magpies were 19th on the log by December and looking like the odds-on favourites for the drop. After spending over £90m in the winter transfer market to back Eddie Howe, he repaid the trust in him by leading the Magpies to 11th place.
This season, Howe has bolstered his defence with the signings of Nick Pope, Matt Targett and Sven Botman . So far, they’ve done well, picking up four points from two matches and conceding no goals. If they can get a positive result against Man City, the rest of the division will be forced to sit up and respect them even more.
Manchester City have dominated this fixture in recent seasons, winning 26 of the last 33 matches while Newcastle have managed just three wins. Both sides have also shared the spoils four times.
Pep Guardiola’s men hit the hosts for five in May with Raheem Sterling scoring a brace. Last December, Riyad Mahrez was the star of the show in City’s 4-0 thrashing of Newcastle.
Newcastle last earned a positive result against this opponent in 2019 when they had to come from an early goal down to win 2-1 after a late Matt Richie penalty.
How Both Teams Have Fared This Season
Newcastle was very good in pre-season. They won four of six friendlies played, only losing to Mainz and Benfica. In the Premier League, they have not lost yet. They cruised to a comfortable 2-0 win against Nottingham Forest in the opening match and drew 0-0 against Brighton (D-W-W-W-L)
Manchester City played a handful of pre-season matches. The Champions won two of three. Their Community Shield result against Liverpool was their only loss. Since then, they’ve won two straight games, scoring six goals and conceding none. (W-W-L-W-W)
Jonjo Shelvey is out of this one with a thigh injury. Emil Kraft will also be missing with a slight knock.
Predicted XI: Nick Pope, Kieran Trippier, Fabian Schar, Sven Botman, Dan Burn, Joe Willock, Bruno Guimaraes, Joelinton, Miguel Almiron, Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin (4-3-3)
The League leaders are still without long-term absentee Aymeric Laporte who is sidelined until September. Cole Palmer also has a minor foot injury.
Predicted XI: Ederson, Kyle Walker, Ruben Diaz, Nathan Ake, Joao Cancelo, Rodri, Kevin de Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, Jack Grealish, Erling Haaland, Riyad Mahrez (4-3-3)
Newcastle are yet to let in a goal in the league this season, giving credence to the astuteness of their defence.
However, on Sunday afternoon, they will be tested on all fronts, particularly from a hungry Haaland. Schar and Botman will also need to maintain concentration for the entire duration of the game. Tracking Haaland while keeping an eye on the dynamic movements of Gundogan who is excellent at arriving late into the box almost unnoticed might be too much to ask of their defence, however.
The Manchester side will expectedly dominate the possession. Howe’s team will have to defend deep with numbers and break with pace. The energy and trickery of Saint-Maximin and Almiron will be important when isolated up against City’s full-backs, especially Joao Cancelo who is weaker in duels than Kyle Walker.
Wilson will have a dual role of being a target man to relieve pressure on the Newcastle backline by holding up the ball well and also sit on the shoulders of Diaz or Ake hoping to exploit the City high line whenever he can.
Guardiola has remained one of the best tacticians around for his creative abilities in breaking down this kind of opposition. This will be a welcome challenge for him.
De Bruyne is another one who will relish this game. The Belgian has been in scintillating form this term and will once again attempt to take up some dangerous spaces and create chances for his teammates.
Cancelo will spend more time in the opponent’s half. His creativity will be pivotal in what City attempt going forward.
Newcastle have not lost in 10 of their 11 home matches in the Premier League.
Manchester City have not lost in any of their last 19 away matches.
Guardiola’s team has won the last five matches against this opponent
Manchester City have scored in each of their last 27 matches against Newcastle.
Manchester City to win @1.38
Manchester City have averaged 3 goals in their last two games. Bet on over 2.5 goals @1.65