Venue: St James’ Park
Date: 19 April 2016
Referee: Kevin Friend
Kick off: 19:45
Manchester City head into the game against the Magpies looking for a fourth, yes a fourth consecutive Premier League victory – what is this madness? Just two days ago (or three, if you’re reading this on match day), City came away with an emphatic 3-0 victory at the expense of a sprawling Chelsea, so they will be hot favourites going into the tie against relegation threatened Newcastle.
That isn’t to say this will be an easy game for 3rd place City and should by no means be taken as a given three points. As mentioned, Newcastle face relegation from the Premier League for the first time since 2009, which saw them finish in 18th place.
That being said, City have hit an impressive run of form with the re-introduction of the likes of Samir Nasri and Kevin De Bruyne, notching up a total of nine points from their last three Premier League games, whilst securing themselves a place in the Champions League Semi-Final – you’d be foolish not to be slightly confident going into the game.
City are boosted by the news that skipper Vincent Kompany is set to take up a place in the match day squad, along with England starlet Raheem Sterling. However, for all the good news, in typical City fashion, there’s some bad news – Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna and David Silva will all miss out on the game in Tyneside.
Defenders Fabricio Coloccini and Daryl Janmaat have been ruled out for the home side, along with Tim Krul, Rob Elliot, Steven Taylor and Massadio Haidara. Kevin Mbabu is close to a return for Benitez’s side, and could be in contention for a place in the squad.
Newcastle could see themselves move out of the relegation zone with a win, with Norwich and Sunderland occupying the remaining two relegation spots.
Let me fill you in on some statistics that will almost certainly put a jinx tomorrow’s game:
- In the last eighteen Premier League meetings between the two sides, Newcastle have won a grand total of zero games, with City winning sixteen. City, have in fact won the last twelve in a row. Newcastle’s last victory came in 2005, where our defence contained Sylvain Distin, Sun Ji Hai, Nedum Onuoha, Richard Dunne and Ben Thatcher – a lot has changed since then, ey?
- In our last eight visits to St James’ Park, the Blues have come out with a total of 22 points from a possible 24.
- And finally, in the last six Premier League games, Manchester City lead on aggregate 23 goals to 1 – Newcastle have a little bit of catch up to do.
Newcastle will be hoping that Sergio Aguero isn’t in similar form to that of the first clash between the two sides this season, where he netted five goals in an impressive 6-1 victory – however, it doesn’t look good for the Magpies, with Aguero netting three against Chelsea at the weekend. The Argentine – who has netted 99 Premier League goals in just 146 Premier League appearances – could become the 2nd quickest to reach 100 Premier League goals if he nets on Tuesday – yet he still isn’t considered the best striker in the league.
City fans have every right to go into the game on Tuesday night high on confidence, however should certainly be wary of the survival spirit, which often spurs on the lower teams in the late stages of the season.
I remain confident, and with a performance similar to those of late, I believe City will make it twelve from the last twelve, with a convincing 3-0 victory.
For some more match build-up, make sure you read our Ask the Opposition with die-hard fan Jonny Gabriel, as well as our post-Chelsea podcast.
Predict the score:
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