Man City host Newcastle at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday in the Premier League. The hosts are now five points behind log leaders Arsenal and any more slip-ups could be fatal. The Magpies have dropped out of the top four after a run of one win in seven in the league. City have scored 23 goals in their last six EPL fixtures against the Toon.
Man City Form
City have had a curious season and their last 15 fixtures have brought just nine wins. Their longest streak of league victories this season is just three. They have scored the most goals in the league, have the highest Expected Goals total, and are the top scorer and assist providers in their ranks. Yet, they keep slipping up with costly draws or defeats.
After their annual loss away to Tottenham (1-0), they won successive league fixtures including 3-1 at Arsenal to move top of the table having been eight points back at one stage. They then went to Nottingham Forest and draw 1-1 despite 73% possession and outshooting their opponents 23-4. A 1-1 draw at RB Leipzig preceded a convincing 4-1 league win at Bournemouth. In midweek they won 3-0 at Bristol City in the FA Cup.
Man City Team News
Aymeric Laporte and John Stones are both expected to be missing for this match. Guardiola is set to select Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias, and Nathan Ake in defence. He could add Manuel Akanji and use a flat-back four or go with Bernardo Silva as an inverted left-back. The former option is most likely vs Newcastle’s wingers.
Phil Foden has hit some good form and is set to start, either down the right or the left wing. Riyad Mahrez and Jack Grealish will compete for the other spot. Should a back four be used, then Bernardo Silva will play further forward with Ilkay Gundogan expected to drop down to the bench.
Man City Motivation
City have a full week off after this match so 100% motivation can go into taking three points. They play in the early kickoff and can close the gap to Arsenal to two points before they play.
Guardiola’s side will attack in this match and they tend to score plenty vs the old Magpies teams, but this one is harder to break down in a low block and more dangerous on the break.
Eddie Howe’s side have still lost just two matches all season in the league. However, their current run of form is one win in seven in league action. They’ve dropped into fifth place, four points behind Tottenham but with two matches in hand. A run of five draws in six saw especially disappointing ones at home to Leeds (0-0) and West Ham (1-1) and away to struggling Bournemouth (1-1).
Their only win during the last seven matches was a fortunate late 1-0 victory at home vs Fulham. They lost 2-0 at home to Liverpool as they conceded two early goals and then Nick Pope was red-carded in goal. Their last fixture saw a 2-0 defeat in the Carabao Cup final to Manchester United.
Newcastle Team News
Nick Pope is back from suspension and will take his place in goal with Loris Karius dropping out. Bruno Guimaraes twisted his ankle in the cup final, a recurrence of a previous problem, and is tough-and-go for this match. Joe Willock featured from the bench in the cup final and could replace the Brazilian.
Callum Wilson is set to play up front so Alexander Isak could be used as a substitute. Another option is to drop the underperforming Allan Saint-Maximin and use Isak down the left. The rest of the team picks itself as Eddie Howe has a small squad to work with.
When they faced Arsenal, Newcastle defended in a low block and looked to frustrate their opponents with time wasting. A similar approach is expected here.
A draw would be a good result and Newcastle could play for one from the first whistle.
Man City have lost 1 of their last 18 home EPL matches (15 wins)
City have conceded in 6 of their last 7 home PL matches
City have scored 3+ goals in 12 of their last 15 home EPL matches
Newcastle have lost their last 13 away EPL matches at City
Newcastle have won 1 of their last 7 league matches (D5, L1)
Newcastle have conceded 16 goals in their last 4 matches vs. City
City have an unreal home record vs out-of-form Newcastle. The Magpies are not really scoring goals and it’s difficult to see anything but a home victory in this one.
Best Bet: Man City win (-1 handicap) at 2.20
Alternative Bet: Man City win and Haaland anytime goalscorer at 1.97
Goalscorer Tip: Haaland to score two or more goals at 3.50