Manchester City

v/s

Newcastle United

Etihad Stadium

3rd October 2015; 14:00 GMT

***

Manchester City are winless in their last two Premier League encounters and have been struggling in the last two weeks following their perfect start to the season. The Citizens host a Newcastle United side, who have failed to win any of their fixtures in the league so far, but did come close to causing an upset against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea FC.

The Citizens would be looking to make the most of Newcastle’s fragile defence and the return of David Silva will certainly add to the troubles of the Magpies.

Team News and Tactics

Manchester City

The on-going injury crisis at the Etihad seems to have taken a toll on their results. The Citizens are without the services of five first-team players going in to the clash against the Magpies, however, it is the absence of club captain Vincent Kompany and talismanic midfielder Yaya Toure that will probably hurt the most.

Kompany has been nursing a calf injury and is expected to return after the international break, but other members who are unavailable for tonight’s clash include new signing Fabian Delph alongside Samir Nasri and Gale Clichy. Toure, Clichy and Nasri are all sidelined with hamstring injuries.

However, the Citizens will be boosted by the return of David Silva, with the Spaniard set to start in the hole behind Sergio Aguero today. Pablo Zabaleta, who has been missing from action since the start of the Premier League returns to the fold today, with another appearance from the bench on the cards. Wilfried Bony and defender Eliaquim Mangala are also available, but Sergio Aguero will be leading the line for the Citizens.

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are expected to line-up in his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation with Joe Hart returning in goal after last week’s debacle against Tottenham Hotspur, where Willy Caballero was between the sticks and let in 4. Joe Hart put in a man of the match performance against Borussia Moenchengladbach and also saved a penalty.

Mangala, who is returning from an injury will partner Nicolas Otamendi in the heart of defence, with Bacary Sagna and Aleksandar Kolarov set to start on the flanks. Due to the absence of Yaya Toure, the Brazilian duo of Fernando and Fernandinho will form the double pivot. Record signing Kevin de Bruyne will start on the right-flank, with former Liverpool FC starlet Raheem Sterling on the left.

Expected line-up (4-2-3-1): Hart; Sagna, Otamendi, Mangala, Kolarov; Fernando, Fernandinho; De Bruyne, Silva, Sterling; Aguero

Newcastle United .

The Magpies are currently without a win in seven league fixtures and the pressure is mounting on Steve McClaren to deliver the results, having spent considerable in the transfer window. Newcastle United were impressive in their match against Chelsea FC, but surrendered their 2-0 lead and walked out with just a point when three points were easily achievable.

Steve McClaren’s side are expected to line-up in the 4-2-2-2 formation that the manager has deployed so far this season, with Ayoze Perez and new signing Aleksandar Mitrovic set to lead the Toon’s attack. Reliable custodian Tim Krul will start in between the sticks, with Fabricio Coloccini and Chancel Mbemba forming the central defensive partnership.

Kevin Mbabu and Daryl Janmaat will be seen starting in the fullback positions. Jack Colback is struggling with a calf problem and will undergo a late fitness test to confirm if he will appear against the Citizens. If Colback fails to make it, Chiek Tiote will be slotting in for the Englishman alongside Vurnon Anita.

Newcastle United’s record signing Georginio Wijnaldum could be seen starting on the left wing with French midfielder Moussa Sissoko on the right wing. The Magpies would be hoping to get the first win of the season and cause an upset, after coming so close to doing it last week against Chelsea FC.

Expected line-up (4-2-2-2): Krul; Janmaat, Mbemba, Coloccini, Mbabu; Anita, Colback; Sissoko, Wijnaldum; Mitrovic, Perez

Player to watch out for:

Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

Manchester City vs West Ham United

Last season’s top scorer in the league, Sergio Aguero has failed to get into his stride so far this season. The Argentine has looked threatening in parts, but has failed to convert the chances that he has been presented to him.

With Wilfried Bony available for selection, the pressure will be mounting on Aguero to perform and the former Atletico Madrid man would be looking to take advantage of a fragile Newcastle defence to get back to scoring.

Key Facts:

  • Manchester City have gone 21 games without a draw.
  • The Citizens are unbeaten in their last 17 games against Newcastle United and would be looking to extend the run, (W15. D2),
  • This is Manchester City’s longest unbeaten run in a Premier League. Only once have they they had a longer unbeaten run against any side, it was against Burnley between 1898 and 1987.
  • The Citizens have lost two consecutive league fixtures after a club record 11-match winning streak.
  • Newcastle United have failed to score in their last five encounters against Manchester City.
  • The Magpies have won only one of their last 18 league games.
  • Steve McClaren has won only two of his last 20 league games for Derby and Newcastle United

Prediction

Manchester City 4 – 1 Newcastle United

While Newcastle United would be looking to register their first win of the season, Manchester City would be hoping to get back to winning ways having lost their last two Premier League fixtures.

The Citizens have the firepower to exploit a fragile Newcastle defence and have scored a minimum of two goals in their last 14 encounters. With the return of David Silva to the first-team, a Manchester City win looks inevitable. However, you can never rule out an upset in the Premier League.

Blast from the Past