Venue: Etihad Stadium
Date: 20 January 2018
Referee: Paul Tierney
Kick off: 17:30
It will be almost a week since Manchester City’s hoodoo at Anfield continued with a 4-3 loss to Liverpool which saw their unbeaten run in the Premier League come to an end.
While there were a few disgruntled City fans, the majority said it was business as usual and a week’s rest maybe what the team needed to bounce back after what has been a hectic festive schedule.
Pep Guardiola’s face Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium almost a month after an uneventful 1-0 at St James’ Park. The match was not one to remember and saw The Magpies get criticised for their ‘park the bus tactics’.
Like most of City’s matches against the bottom half this season, The Blues will be hoping to maintain their 12-point lead over second placed Manchester United while Newcastle will be hoping to get some sort of result in an attempt to stay in the league.
For City, David Silva is set to return to the side after missing out on the Anfield loss due to a stomach bug while Fabian Delph is on the sidelines due to a knee injury against Liverpool.
Newcastle forward Dwight Gayle faces a fitness tests while Florian Lejeune is a doubt with a foot injury and Jesus Gamez will not be available.
Despite being promoted as champions from The Championship, Newcastle have been below par when it comes to the Premier League.
After a frustrating 1-1 draw against bottom of the table side Swansea, Newcastle are hoping for damage limitation at The Etihad as they sit three points outside of the relegation zone.
The team will also have to try and forget about what is going on off the field with owner Mike Ashley trying to sell the club. Ashley recently ended talks with business woman Amanda Staveley about a potential £250m takeover.
As mentioned earlier, it will be down to how many goals Newcastle do not concede and it is likely to be many.
The Magpies probably feel this is the best time to play City with them coming off the end of an unbeaten run, but, this is probably the worst time to face The Blues as they will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing loss.
Guardiola’s side will continue an unbeaten record at home this season and will come out convincing 4-0 winners as the attacking force will prove too much for Newcastle’s defence.