Newcastle host Man City at St. James’ Park in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night. The Magpies have a terrible record against City of late, conceding 26 goals in their last eight league matches vs. Pep Guardiola’s side. Both teams are set to rotate their XIs but we should get some goals to enjoy in this one.
The Magpies had a tough start to the season but they’ve fully turned things around in the last fortnight thanks to three clean sheets on the bounce. After thrashing Aston Villa on the opening day, they lost three matches in a row. A 1-0 defeat at Man City saw just 0.29 xG created before losing 2-1 at home to ten-man Liverpool. A 3-1 loss at Brighton saw them out-passed and outclassed.
The last three matches have seen some big results. They eked out a 1-0 home win over Brentford and then went to the San Siro and fought hard to leave AC Milan with a 0-0 draw. On Sunday evening, they had eight different goalscorers in an 8-0 thrashing of Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
Newcastle Team News
The Toon made the League Cup final last season but this campaign is complicated by their UEFA Champions League involvement. It’s likely to be a heavily rotated XI for this match. Joelinton and Joe Willock are injured in midfield and Harvey Barnes is also out after an early problem at Sheffield United.
Martin Dubravka is set to play in goal and Tino Livramento is at right back. Jamaal Lascelles and Matt Targett could also start in the back four. In midfield, Lewis Hall and Sando Tonali should rotate into the XI whilst Jacob Murphy and Alexander Isak are set to play in the front three from the start.
Despite all the rotation expected, it should be an attacking and high-tempo approach from the hosts. They will want to win and try to go one better in the League Cup this season.
City will dominate the ball but Newcastle will use fast counters and transitions to try to hurt them. Murphy and Isak should start and carry the attacking threat.
Man City Form
City have played eight matches this season, winning all six in the league, beating Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League, and lifting the UEFA Super Cup on penalties in August after a 1-1 draw against Sevilla. They needed an 88th-minute goal to win 2-1 at Sheffield United as they had 30 shots and 3.60 xG.
A 5-1 home thrashing of Fulham saw Erling Haaland score a hattrick. They went to West Ham and won 3-1 with 29 shots and six ‘big chances’ missed. A 3-1 home win over Red Star Belgrade came next in a totally dominant display with 37 shots and 4.13 xG. On Saturday, they scored two early goals and cruised 2-0 past Nottingham Forest as they played the second half with ten men.
Man City Team News
City are without the suspended Rodri in midfield for this match. Kalvin Phillips could get a rare start in his place. Kevin De Bruyne is out injured and all of John Stones, Bernardo Silva, and Mateo Kovacic are very doubtful. Erling Haaland will surely earn a rest in this match.
Stefan Ortega will play in goal and Rico Lewis. Sergio Gomez and Nathan Ake are set to play in defence. Julian Alvarez will lead the line and Jack Grealish and Jeremy Doku could fill the wide areas.
Man City Motivation
City have won this trophy numerous times in recent seasons and will take this very seriously.
Guardiola will rotate the side but he rarely goes with weak lineups. Expect to see a coherent and balanced team from his trusted core of 18 or so outfield players.
Newcastle have lost just 3 of their last 24 home EPL matches
Newcastle have won just 4 of their last 11 league matches (4 losses, 3 draws)
Newcastle have only kept four clean sheets in their last 24 matches
City have scored 26 goals in their last 8 EPL fixtures against the Toon.
City have scored 2+ goals in 8 of their last 9 matches vs NUFC
Man City have kept clean sheets in 7 of their last 9 matches against Newcastle (all competitions)
This should be a good match. The strengths of the lineups could go a long way to deciding who progresses in this fixture. I see both sides scoring and this could end up in a draw in 90 minutes potentially. Check the starting XIs before kickoff to help inform your bets.