Friday, September 20, 2019

Prediction: Newport County vs Manchester City

Tom Dunstan in FA Cup, Free Soccer Predictions 16 Feb 2019

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Verdict: Gabriel Jesus to score 2+ goals

Best Odds: 13/8

Bookmaker: Bet365

Aiming to claim an unprecedented quadruple, dominant Manchester City switch their focus to FA Cup action this weekend.

Newport County

Starting with the hosts, while Newport might be coming off the back of a 1-0 loss at home to MK Dons in midweek, the mood around Rodney Parade couldn’t be any higher. Quickly becoming the giant slayers of this year’s FA Cup, Michael Flynn’s side have already knocked out Championship playoff contenders Middlesbrough and Premier League outfit Leicester on route to the fifth round. Holding a 14-point buffer over slipping into the relegation zone and all but securing another season in the Football League, it has been their form at home spearheading their morale-boosting campaign. Despite winning just two of their past 11 league games, they have only conceded two goals in seven home games in all competitions. If Newport are to pull off arguably the biggest upset in the history of the FA Cup, then Saturday’s hosts will be looking for leading goalscorer Padraig Amond to carry on his remarkable run in the tournament. The 30-year-old has scored five goals in his last eight FA Cup appearances, including in every round this season.

Team News

Padraig Amond will lead the Newport forward line and hope to maintain his record of scoring in every FA Cup round this season.

Defender Fraser Franks could keep his place after completing his first game in a month against MK Dons on Tuesday.

Manchester City

As for the visitors, coming off the back of making yet another statement in their 6-0 win over Chelsea last weekend, the mood in Pep Guardiola’s camp couldn’t be any higher. Reclaiming top spot in the Premier League and putting five past Burnley in the previous round of their FA Cup journey, it has unsurprisingly been the Sky Blues’ form in the final third spearheading a potential quadruple-winning season. Already netting 11 goals in their three matches in February and conceding just one in return, Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus should be relishing a return to City’s starting XI. With the former Barcelona boss likely to rest leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero at Rodney Parade, the 21-year-old has scored in both of City’s two previous FA Cup appearances. Although the defending champions will head to Wales as an overwhelming favourite, the Sky Blues have previously struggled against lower league opposition. They’ve won just one of their last six FA Cup away games against sides from a lower division, drawing four and losing one.

Team News

Pep Guardiola is set to make changes with one eye on Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Schalke and Sunday’s EFL Cup final.

Vincent Kompany remains sidelined along with Claudio Bravo and Benjamin Mendy.

Key Factors to Consider

  • City have won all three of their matches in February, scoring 11 goals and conceding just one.
  • They have won their two FA Cup games this season by an aggregate score of 12-0.
  • However, they’ve won just one of their last six FA Cup away games against sides from a lower division (D4, L1), losing their last such game against Wigan.
  • This is only Newport’s second appearance in the FA Cup fifth round – their first was a 3-2 defeat by Portsmouth in February 1949.
  • Newport have won just two of their past 11 league games, drawing two and losing seven.

Conclusion

While Newport may have picked up some notable scalps on route to the fifth round and also holding an impressive record at Rodney Parade, it is almost impossible to see them pulling off the ultimate upset. Given City’s frightening form in the final third and their recent performances in the FA Cup, we’re backing Gabriel Jesus to enjoy yet another successful afternoon in front of goal.

Verdict: Gabriel Jesus to score 2+ goals

Best Odds: 13/8

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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