Big Match Breakdown: Newcastle v Manchester City
Backs-to-the-wall for the Magpies
Newcastle United have the ever-difficult task of trying to stop Manchester City at St. James’ Park this evening.
Both sides have different priorities right now, with Newcastle on a mission to survive and City looking to stretch their lead at the top.
The Coral News Team examines the big game in greater details…
Newcastle have a poor record in this fixture in recent times. In fact, the last time the Magpies beat City in the league was back in 2005.
They did bag a draw last time out, however, that was in the final stages of Manuel Pellegrini’s time as City manager.
Previous to that, the Citizens had won their last five league games in the North East.
Changes could be made here by both managers with such a build-up of fixtures over Christmas and the New Year.
Rafa Benitez has Jonjo Shelvey back from suspension but may choose to stick with the midfield who started the win over West Ham United.
Aleksandar Mitrovic and Jesus Gamez are the only injury concerns for the Spanish manager.
Pep Guardiola should make a number of changes. Gabriel Jesus is likely to start in attack, with Bernado Silva coming in for Kevin De Bruyne.
Vincent Kompany is expected to be rested ahead of the weekend and New Year’s fixtures.
Against this Man City side, Newcastle will be in a battle in every position on the pitch.
However, the major warfare will take place between the two coaches. Benitez is no fool and will not play Guardiola’s game of going toe-to-toe.
The former Real Madrid coach is a great tactician and will likely pack his defence and midfield in an attempt to stifle the space
It will mean a high-pressure pressing game and Newcastle players getting in City’s faces, and tackling ferociously.
Benitez must find a way to stop David Silva dictating the play.
Newcastle are overwhelming underdogs in this game at 12/1. City are 1/4 to win, while the Draw is 11/2.
This game tends to be high-scoring more so at City’s ground. At St. James’ Park, matches tend to be a little tighter – the previous three have ended 1-1, 0-2, and 0-2.
With a quick turnaround in games, Guardiola could be satisfied with a low-scoring win.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing