Verdict: Manchester City win
Best Odds: 1/2
In what looks set to be a heavyweight showdown on Saturday lunchtime, Manchester City will welcome Newcastle to the Etihad.
Starting with the hosts, while Manchester City might have been disappointed after opening their Champions League knockout stage adventure on February 22nd, the Sky Blues are enjoying a welcomed boost over the past week. Extending on their FA Cup adventure a few days ago as they claimed a routine 3-0 victory away at Championship outfit Bristol City, Pep Guardiola’s side are desperate to lay down another marker here. Last seen in top-flight action cruising their way to a 4-1 romp away at relegation scrappers Bournemouth, the former Barcelona boss has been calling on his side to find some recent stability. Although City might find themselves facing a major scrap if they’re to defend their Premier League crown this season, Guardiola’s superstars have suffered just a single defeat since back on January 14th. Appearing to have refound their clinical edge in the final third, Saturday’s hosts will be hoping to avoid a potential banana skin here.
Still dealing with a long-standing thigh issue, England international John Stones will once again miss out this weekend. However, after suffering with an illness in midweek, Manchester City are hopeful that Aymeric Laporte will be able to make his return.
Sitting out of City’s FA Cup romp away at Bristol City earlier in the week, attacking talisman Erling Haaland will make a full return on Saturday lunchtime.
As for the visitors, while Newcastle might still be in the midst of what has been a remarkable campaign at St. James’ Park, Eddie Howe’s side are seeking a recent boost. Eventually getting hit with a 2-0 loss at the hands of Manchester United in last weekend’s EFL Cup final, the Magpies are now facing a real uphill struggle in their bid to claim a famous Champions League spot. Although the former Bournemouth boss might have seen his side continue to shine prior to the World Cup’s winter break, they have largely failed to keep up that same momentum. Last seen in Premier League action putting in another toothless display as they suffered a 2-0 defeat at home against top-four rivals Liverpool, Newcastle have now failed to win any of their last four matchups across all formats. Likewise, despite booking their EFL Cup final ticket after clinching a 3-1 aggregate victory against Southampton last month, it should be noted that the Magpies have won just one of their last seven top-flight appearances.
Missing Newcastle’s 2-0 defeat in last weekend’s EFL Cup final, number one goalkeeper Nick Pope will return on Saturday lunchtime after serving a one-match ban.
Making a return from his own three-match suspension at Wembley last weekend, midfield talisman Bruno Guimaraes will keep his spot in Howe’s starting XI. However, Emil Krafth will once again miss out due to a long-term ACL injury.
Key Factors to Consider
- When the two sides last met for their reverse fixture on August 21st, Manchester City and Newcastle played out a 3-3 draw at St. James’ Park.
- Man City are unbeaten in each of their last eight straight meetings against Saturday’s guests – a run that stems back to January 2019.
- Including last weekend’s EFL Cup defeat against Manchester United, Newcastle have failed to win any of their last four matchups across all formats.
- Likewise, Howe’s side have also managed to muster just a single point from any of their last seven Premier League showdowns.
- Striking sensation Erling Haaland has scored 27 Premier League goals in just his 24 top-flight appearances this season.
While Newcastle might still be dreaming of the chance to claim a Champions League spot in 2023, the Magpies are enduring a recent wobble. Suffering a 2-0 loss in last weekend’s EFL Cup final against Manchester United, Howe’s side have also claimed just a single win from their last seven Premier League appearances. Last seen in top-flight action getting hit with another 2-0 defeat at the hands of Liverpool, Man City should be looking to lay down a major marker on Saturday afternoon. Extending on their FA Cup adventure earlier in the week as they claimed a 3-0 victory away at Bristol City, the defending champions have found a welcomed boost when signing off February. Winning each of their last five straight showdowns at the Etihad, we’re backing a similar outcome here.
Verdict: Manchester City win
Best Odds: 1/2
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!