Preview and Prediction
It is the third outing of both teams this season and the circumstance around the match is different from one another. At the first meeting on matchday 13 in St.James’ Park, The Citizens were on the third of the table and still struggling to compete with Leicester and Chelsea with a few points gap to chase Liverpool. The game ended in a tie. The second one was a few weeks ago in FA Cup, with an ambition to defend the title, they easily thumped The Magpies 2-0. This midweek is scheduled for another encounter with The Citizen officially lost the title. There is no time like today for Newcastle to snatch points in Etihad Stadium considering their previous result.
The teams’ previous matches
Guardiola’s men surprisingly had another loss last weekend. Their visit to St.Mary ended up terribly as they were dismantled by Southampton 0-1. A single goal of Che Adams from a speculative long range shot preceded by The Citizen’s blunder was the only goal scored in the match. Yet, what made the difference was the host’s solid defence plus a number of clinical saves by Alex McCharty, who was awarded as the man of the match. Those inevitably frustrated Gabi Jesus and Co.
The Magpies were held in a draw by West Ham which is struggling to avoid relegation threat. It was a seesaw game of 2-2. The Hammers took the lead by Michail Antonio but then equalised by Miguel Almiron. West Ham scored another one by Tomas Soucek and yet the host levelled it by Jonjo Shelvey’s strike only two minutes later.
Pep Guardiola will deploy 4-3-3 formation with various possible transitions. Yet, Sergio Aguero is still injured. Thus, Gabi Jesus will take over his post upfront in the starting IX. The former Barcelona and Bayern boss might modify the tactics with two frontmen as Newcastle might be employing defensive stance. Thus, the Brasilian international is likely to be accompanied by Raheem Sterling.
Steve Bruce might not opt for 4-2-3-1 again just like in the past two matches. It might be working well against the lower level teams and enable them to be more offensive. Yet, such will be disastrous when employed against the high profile team. Unfortunately, he will not be able to play his best starting IX as Allan Saint-Maximin is ruled out alongside Isaac Hayden, Ciaran Clark, Florian Lejeune and Sean Longstaff. Thus, 4-3-2-1 or 4-4-1-1 suits best with Dwight Gayle upfront supported by Joelinton and Matt Richie who plays wide. In the midfield, Miguel Almiron, Jonjo Shelvey and Nabil Bentaleb will be covering the area.
Players to watch
Meanwhile, The Citizens have Raheem Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne as the top key men to watch. The former Liverpool man has scored thirteen goals and provided one assist while the latter has contributed eleven goals and seventeen assists this season. Another notable figure to watch is the English youngster Phil Foden.
In this fixture, Jonjo Shelvey is the most expected man to watch. He is excellent at long range shots which has been the main weakness in The Citizen’s defense. He has netted six goals and provided 1 assist. Another notable one to watch is the versatile Scottish Matt Richie.
Manchester City vs Newcastle Prediction
The Citizens surely would never have another disappointing result after last week’s loss. The win might not have any impact to their positions but Guardiola’s men need it more to prepare themselves for the Champions League next month. Trying out their youngsters such as Phil Foden and Eric Garcia combined by the reserved players like Joao Cancelo and Olexandr Zinchenko is probably the best option. A narrow win for the host is still the most probable result.
Manchester City is certainly the clear favourite. They are priced to win at 1.11, whereas the visitor’s win market is only at 23.50. The odd for the draw result is at the value of 9.50.