Man City host Newcastle at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday in the Premier League. Pep Guardiola’s side are fresh off adding the UEFA Super Cup to their treble from last season. The Magpies started this season on fire with a 5-1 thrashing of Aston Villa. City’s home record vs The Toon is fearsome with eight wins in a row and four matches without conceding a goal.
Man City Form
City finished last season with three trophies to become only the second English side to ever win the treble. The league was won thanks to a 12-match winning streak which included beating Arsenal 4-1 to take control of the title race. Although they dropped points in their final two league matches – a draw at Brighton (1-1) and a loss at Brentford (0-1) – they beat Man Utd 2-1 in the FA Cup final a week later.
A 1-0 win versus Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League final put the seal on an incredible season. This term began by losing on penalties to Arsenal in the Community Shield as a 1-0 lead was blown deep into added time. Their opening league match saw an efficient 3-0 win at Burnley. In midweek, City drew 1-1 with Sevilla in Greece. They won on penalties to lift their first-ever UEFA Super Cup.
Man City Team News
City are without captain Kevin De Bruyne after his hamstring injury at Burnley. Bernardo Silva missed the midweek match in Greece with illness but could make at least the bench for this one. Ruben Dias and John Stones were on the bench in the Super Cup but this one may come too soon to start.
Julian Alvarez is expected to come into the starting XI in De Bryune’s number ten role. Cole Palmer could drop to the bench despite his goal against Sevilla. Manuel Akanji played the hybrid centre back slash midfielder role on Wednesday and could do it again with Josko Gvardiol starting his first league match.
Man City Motivation
City will go all out to win this match. They are not expected to play a very open style nor be particularly free-flowing with their key losses in creative areas (Ilkay Gundogan and De Bruyne).
Guardiola’s side could keep the ball for self-preservation and look to grind out a win. If leading 1-0, it’s not expected that they will drive home their advantage.
Eddie Howe’s team had an incredible 2022-23 season as they finished fourth and sealed a return to the UEFA Champions League. After a run of one win in eight league matches, they responded brilliantly with five successive wins. Even a 3-0 loss at Aston Villa didn’t detail them: three wins from three with 13 goals scored was their response.
The end of the season saw a few points dropped, especially once the top four was secured. They were beaten 2-0 at home by Arsenal and drew three of their final four matches including 0-0 at Leicester and 1-1 at Chelsea. This season began sublimely with a 5-1 humbling of Aston Villa. Newcastle had 3.41 Expected Goals and created nine “big chances”.
Newcastle Team News
The Toon are without three players Emil Krafth, Javier Manquillo, and Joe Willock. The same XI from the Villa match is expected to start this one. Anthony Gordon will play down the left in preference to Harvey Barnes despite the latter’s big impact from the bench.
Alexander Isak is set to lead the line with Callum Wilson on the bench. The latter tends to replace the former around the 65-70 minute mark. Sandro Tonali will start on the right of the midfield trio in preference to Sean Longstaff.
This is a free hit for Newcastle. There is no need for them to park the bus or play for a draw from the first minute. They can press and attack a City side who played in midweek.
A draw would be the fine result but Howe’s team will initially play to win the match. Maybe in the final 15 minutes, they could drop deep and settle for a point. Newcastle have great impact subs so can score late in this match.
City have scored 25 goals in their last 7 EPL fixtures against the Toon.
Man City won their last 8 home matches vs. Newcastle in all competitions
Newcastle have failed to score in their last 8 trips to the Etihad
Newcastle have conceded 2+ goals in each of their 9 matches vs Man City
Newcastle have seen Both Teams to Score Yes in 6 of their last 7 away PL matches
City usually wins this fixture at home. However, with their midfield weakened this season and having played in midweek, this one is ripe for an upset. Erling Haaland may not receive the same quality of service this season and Newcastle are full of confidence. There could be goals in this one, and the visitors could take a surprise point.