30 January 2019
The Premier League relegation battlers and the title contenders go head-to-head at the St. James’ Park this midweek as Newcastle United face-off Manchester City.
A vital 3-0 victory over Cardiff City, that has brought Newcastle’s five-game PL winless run to an end (D2, L3), has helped the hosts escape the danger zone for a moment. But, in order to prevent Cardiff from reducing a 2-point gap between the sides, the Magpies have to find a way to break a three-game losing streak against Man City. However, Rafael Benitez’s men have hardly been sparring partners for the Premier League top-five teams this season. Newcastle have lost all eight encounters with the Premier League elite clubs, conceding over 1.5 goals in each. What’s more, the Magpies have allowed over 1.5 goals per match in seven of 12 PL home outings this campaign, keeping a clean sheet three times in the process.
Newcastle’s fragile defense will have to deal with a devastating Manchester City attack that has bagged 33 goals in their last eight competitive outings. Not only the Citizens have strung eight victories across all competitions together, but they come into this encounter after keeping a clean sheet in the previous six competitive clashes. Pep Guardiola’s firm defense that has conceded just seven goals on 11 PL road trips (joint-best PL record) now faces a team that holds the third-worst attacking record when it comes to home meetings (10 goals scored in 12 home games). Trailing Liverpool by four points, the reigning holders can’t afford a failure here, as they look to post third consecutive PL road triumph and also stretch an 11-game lossless run at St. James Park (W8, D3).
Provisional line-up – Newcastle United:
Gk: Dubravka Defense: Lejeune – Schar – Lascelles – Yedlin Midfield: Isaac Hayden – Matt Ritchie – Atsu – Longstaff Attack: Ayoze Perez – Rondon
Provisional line-up – Manchester City:
Gk: Ederson Defense: Danilo – Laporte – Otamendi – Walker Midfield: Fernandinho – Gundogan – Kevin de Bruyne Attack: Sane – Sterling – Aguero
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