Manchester City v Newcastle Utd - 5.30pm Sat 20th Jan - Preview and Match Day Thread


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After last weekend’s mad ten second half minutes followed by a near miraculous recovery, it is time to get ‘back on the horse’ in the Premier League when City face Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle at the Etihad in Saturday’s late kick off.

Time to start another fabulous winning run and put all the doubters and nay-sayers back in their boxes. After the Stretford Galacticos cut the points deficit to a mere 12 points last Monday, no surprise to see some of his motley crew recalling their past failure to hold onto a lead in 2012. As some have wisely pointed out on this site it will do no harm for the City squad to have this brought to mind as many of them were not around then. This is a time when the experienced members of the squad such as Kompany, David Silva, Aguero can make sure they back up Pep’s message of “no complacency, we have won NOTHING yet”.

With his players having squeezed in 11 games into 35 days since the derby victory over the Galacticos back in December Pep will have enjoyed having the opportunity afforded by the past week to rest his squad and also spend some time with them on the training ground. It is often forgotten that this time is of greater value to him than perhaps many other managers - this is where he can get his messages home, improve players and actually coach them. The punishing schedule with games every 2/3/4 days leaves precious little time for this and so the break will have been a welcome ‘reset’ for him I am sure.

If City were unsettled by Liverpool's high-pressing, Newcastle's approach to Saturday's game is likely be the polar opposite if their previous performance at St James’s Park is anything to go by. Guardiola's side travelled to St James' Park two days after Christmas and produced one of the most one-sided fixtures in Premier League history although the scoreline ended 1-0. If that’s how Benitez decided to set up at home I cannot imagine that he will throw caution to the wind for the away fixture.

Newcastle's defensive tactics were set from the kickoff with Shelvey shooting from the halfway line and the Magpies immediately retreating to the edge of their own box to soak up City attacks.

At half time, City had an astounding 83 percent possession and were on course to break the Premier League record of 82.28 percent since THAT day on the final day of the 2011-12 season when we defeated Queens Park Rangers to lift the league title.

Newcastle at least managed to reduc that statistic to 78 percent by full time with a semi-adventurous final 10 minutes, but Rafa Benitez's philosophy couldn't be more different to that employed by his former club Liverpool last weekend.

Whether pressing is the way to stop City -- and that remains up for debate given that it has only resulted in a single domestic defeat -- Newcastle's tactic is likely be to hold out for a point. We could be in for another Attack v Defence. This time however Pep will have analysed the previous fixture and have a plan……hopefully one which results in City’s all time record goalscorer renewing his acquaintance with the back of the net.

Sergio Aguero could not have asked for a better opponent in this respect.

The Argentinian has scored more goals against the Magpies than any other team. He has scored 11 times in 11 games averaging a goal every 59.73 minutes. Those figures were boosted by a brilliant five-goal haul when City beat the Magpies 6-1 two years ago.

Aa a taster for the game and an incentive to avoid another single goal victory, check out the last ten goals v Newcastle Uniter……

Which is your favourite?

Team News

City - aside form the usual suspects Delph is unavailable. Disturbingly Foden’s return date from the ligament injury sustained in the League Cup win in December remains clouded in mystery. Kompany is OFF the Physioroom injured list…..but will he be in the squad? It was in the reverse fixture last month that he ‘retired hurt’ yet again so there would be a certain irony if he were to return against Newcastle. Other sources still have him injured so who knows?

Newcastle - Gayle, Mbemba and Mitrovic are slight doubts. Games and Lejeune are unavailable.

Match Officials

Referee: Paul Tierney
Assistants: Simon Bennett, Marc Perry
Fourth official: Craig Pawson

If they didn’t have last weekend’s result as an incentive to rack up an emphatic win against their next opponents, well we have to wonder whether we might witness something we might refer to as ‘The Sanchez Effect’…..

Given that much of the week has been dominated by events off the pitch with the on/off move for Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez finally falling through, City’s players have their first opportunity to send an resounding message that they don't need the Chilean, who now looks bound to join the ranks of the Galacticos in Salford.

It has been well document that Pep has created a close-knit squad and they will return to the Etihad absolutely determined to show the quality that has seen them record the best-ever Premier League record after 23 games and why they don't need any reinforcement.

Come on City!!!


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Forgot the Predicted XI


Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Danilo

De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Silva D*

Sterling, Aguero, Sané


Bravo, Zinchenko, Mangala, Silva B, Gundogan*, Toure, Diaz

*Awaits update on David Silva's availability


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Skoorb, :005:
The rags' game is one of the three o'clockers before we play at the later time. Assuming they get past Burnley, I expect screaming media headlines that they are reeling us in because the gap is only 9 points.



Vital Football Hero
Yeah, come on Burnley, should be good for a point at least. The team for us should be good enough to beat anyone, and the Barcodes will park the bus caus they have little top quality players to do otherwise I think.
super read Skoorb, I think we missed DS21 at Liverpool but obviously not ready yet as his place on the bench indicated.

I wish we had a better left back, but it maybe that lack of games is to blame for Danilo's average performances so far in this campaign.

Buzz's picks are the same as Skoorb's including the *

I would however like to get more game time from Bernardo, he has talent and needs minutes in his legs before the Bristol match.


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Bernardo does have some magic in his boots as he has proved with a couple of sublime crosses. He also has the same astonishing quality as his namesake to be able to stop and change direction on a sixpence......

For the younger members of the site (are there any?)......

The sixpence (6d; /'s?ksp?ns/), sometimes known as a tanner or sixpenny bit, was a coin worth one-fortieth of a pound sterling, or six pence. It was first minted in the reign of Edward VI and circulated until 1980. Following decimalisation in 1971 it had a value of ?2 1/2 new pence.

.....and they were tiny.
I initially understood Delphy to be out for a short time but it appears that Fabian's injury to more log term and we will have to shuffle the pack tomorrow, I am not sure if Pep is happy With Danilo and Zinchenko, needs to improve at that position a lot better.

Premier League clubs will hold a minute of applause before this weekend's matches and players will wear black armbands in tribute to former West Brom and England forward Cyrille Regis.

Regis, a pioneer for black footballers in the game, died aged 59 on Sunday.

:001: :001: :001:
Wotcha Blues! Top preview! Massively important game for City today. A handsome win is a pre-requisite on 2 counts. On the pitch we must rapidly re-establish dominance and steady the ship after a first defeat. Off the pitch, the Stretfords have been declared transfer champions of England by a fawning media who have given licence to Jones, Mata, Young and Pogba to declare all week that the Galacticos are gonna hunt us down. We must put Newcastle away rapidly to stifle the 700 million’s gathering excitement. There will be 2 lines of 5 and 4 ahead of us today and we simply have to hit them with crosses low and hard into the box all game. If we score early I predict a backlash cricket score.
Early goal, early goal, early goal....(for City) :055:

Are the groundsman and his team out marking the parking spaces for Rafa's buses?
We will have to find a way to get round them early doors if we are to make a real statement. They very nearly managed to keep us out last time - I can't see Rafa going for it at the Etihad.

This would be a prefect game for Mendy to be banging in his crosses from the left...


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History Suggests City Should Tear Newcastle Utd A New…

On this occasion I intend to pick and choose certain recent Manchester City v Newcastle United results and in doing so highlight why I think we’ll tear the barcodes a new *** **** later this evening.

The City players and in particular Pep must be smarting from the last game against Liverpool (3-4), our first league defeat of the season, DOH! So, today’s perfect recipe for Guardiola and his merry men has come just at the right time. In other words I am predicting the perfect soufflé and City to score six.

Ederson, Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Zinchenko, De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Silva, Sterling, Agüero, Sané


Bravo, Danilo, Gündogan, Mangala, Bernardo Silva, Adarabioyo, Diaz

A welcome return for David Silva :001: and young Zinchenko gets the nod at LB ahead of Danilo