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Preview: Manchester City vs Newcastle United – prediction, team news, line-ups

Saturday’s Premier League programme closes out with a handsome-looking encounter between Manchester City and Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium. 

Last season’s Golden Boot winner Erling Braut Haaland notched a first-half brace to inspire the Cityzens’ title defence to a perfect start in an overwhelming 3-0 win at newly-promoted Burnley on matchday one.

However, the Norwegian experienced another near-anonymous showpiece event, barely touching the ball as Pep Guardiola’s side beat Sevilla to the UEFA Super Cup title on Wednesday.

After a 1-1 draw over 90 minutes, Man City came out on top of a penalty shoot-out at Stadio Georgios Karaiskakis to add to their trophy cabinet despite lacking the likes of Bernardo Silva and Kevin De Bruyne.

Injury-plagued City performed below their standards in Piraeus, but after leaving the Athens ruins behind, they must rediscover their top form against high-flying Newcastle. 

Top summer signing Sandro Tonali enjoyed a dream Premier League debut, breaking the deadlock in the Magpies’ 5-1 thumping of Aston Villa on the opening weekend.

Eddie Howe’s side fired a warning shot to fellow top-four rivals with a statement win over the Birmingham outfit, casting doubt on our Newcastle season predictions

While we thought they were fortuitous to secure a Champions League return for the first time in over two decades last term, Newcastle look determined to stay firmly in the top-four picture this season.  

Match Preview

If an opening-day demolition of Vincent Kompany’s troops was anything to go by, we could be on the verge of delivering an accurate peek into Man City’s finish in 2023/24

Guardiola equalled two of Sir Alex Ferguson’s most astonishing managerial records last season, defending the Premier League title for the third season on the spin and guiding City to a historic treble.  

Since no side has ever won four consecutive league titles in the Premier League era, this could be a career-defining campaign for the Spanish tactician, provided his lads stay on top. 

Newcastle are among a handful of clubs capable of challenging Man City’s title credentials.

But the Cityzens are only three goals away from scoring a century of goals against the Magpies, a feat they have yet to achieve against any Premier League team.

Howe established Newcastle as one of the most stubborn defensive sides in the Premier League last season, with the Magpies conceding the division’s joint-low 33 goals, alongside Man City.

Unfortunately, his backline cracked multiple times against the Cityzens, capitulating twice in both top-flight meetings between the clubs in 2022/23 (D1, L1). 

Following a memorable transformative season, the visitors should not be afraid to challenge the history books and possibly post a first-ever Premier League victory away to Man City (D2, L16). 

Newcastle racked up four wins on their seven league travels towards the end of the previous Premier League campaign (D2, L1), reinforcing their hopes of breaking their ‘Etihad hoodoo.’

Team News

Man City could be without De Bruyne for the rest of the calendar year if the latest prognosis regarding his hamstring problem proves valid. 

While the Belgian playmaker may need to go under the knife to solve his niggling injury, Silva could return to the fold already this weekend after missing out on the Super Cup due to illness.

Newcastle will make this trip without Javier Manquillo, Emil Krafth and Joe Willock, which is unlikely to faze Howe, considering they were also unavailable for selection last weekend.

Big-money summer addition Harvey Barnes, who scored from the bench on his league debut for the Magpies, could take Anthony Gordon’s place in the starting line-up on Saturday.

Manchester City potential starting line-up:

(4-2-3-1): Ederson; Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias, Josko Gvardiol, Nathan Ake; Rodri, Mateo Kovacic; Cole Palmer, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish; Erling Braut Haaland.

Newcastle United potential starting line-up:

(4-3-3): Nick Pope; Kieran Trippier, Sven Botman, Fabian Schar, Dan Burn; Sandro Tonali, Bruno Guimaraes, Joelinton; Miguel Almiron, Harvey Barnes, Alexander Isak.

We Say: Manchester City 2-2 Newcastle United

There’s no better way to prove their top-four credentials than taking points away from the Etihad, and we expect Newcastle to leave their hearts and souls on the pitch. 

Both sides boast a wealth of attacking potential within their ranks, so it’s not difficult to assume a high-scoring contest could be in store. 

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