League leaders Manchester City travel to the Northeast to face Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle United side at St. James’ Park.

City are coming off a resounding 4-0 victory against Bournemouth on Saturday. It was their 18th victory of the season. Since Manchester United dropped points, City now have a 13 point lead at the top of the Premier League table over their cross town rivals.

Newcastle’s narrow victory over West Ham United last week was their first Premier League victory since beating Crystal Palace back in October, nearly 10 games ago. They currently sit on 15th place on the table, a mere 2 points away from the relegation zone.

Tactics

Newcastle United

Rafa Benitez is once again expected to be without Aleksandar Mitrovic and Jesus Gamez for this tie. However, Jonjo Shelvey’s return from suspension will likely come as a boost for the Magpies. Despite beating West Ham United, changes are expected to the the side that started last week.

Rob Elliot will likely hold onto his place in goal, whereas Ciaran Clark is expected to make way for Florian Lejeune to join Jamaal Lascelles in the heart of defence. Javier Manquillo and DeAndre Yedlin are expected to start at left and right back respectively.

Christian Atsu and Matt Ritchie are expected to hold onto their places on the left and right wing respectively, while Isaac Hayden and Mikel Merino are likely to come into the squad in place of Henri Saivet and Mohamed Diame in the center of defence. Dwight Gayle and Joselu will likely lead the line for the Magpies once again on Wednesday.

Probable Starting XI(4-4-2): Rob Elliot; DeAndre Yedlin, Jamaal Lascelles, Florian Lejeune, Javier Manquillo; Matt Ritchie, Mikel Merino, Isaac Hayden, Christian Atsu; Dwight Gayle, Joselu

Newcastle United vs Manchester City(2)

Manchester City

Benjamin Mendy, Phil Foden and John Stones are all set to miss out due to injury, while Eliaquim Mangala’s availability is still a doubt. There aren’t expected to be too many changes to the side that started in last week’s victory against AFC Bournemouth.

Ederson is expected to hold on to his place ahead of Claudio Bravo, while Kyle Walker, Nicolas Otamendi and Vincent Kompany are expected to hold onto their places in in defence, while Danilo is expected to come into left back ahead of Fabian Delph.

In midfield, Fernandinho and David Silva may be given a rest and Yaya Toure and Ilkay Gundogan may be brought back into the starting XI. Bernardo Silva may be afforded a start on the right wing ahead of Raheem Sterling, with Leroy Sane on the left.

Kevin De Bruyne, arguably City’s best player this season is expected to retain his place in the squad once again. Guardiola has yet another selection headache while deciding between Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero to lead the line, but we expect the Argentine to hold onto his place in the starting XI.

Probable Starting XI(4-2-3-1): Ederson; Kyle Walker, Nicolas Otamendi, Vincent Kompany, Danilo; Yaya Toure, Ilkay Gundogan; Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Leroy Sane, Sergio Aguero

Newcastle United vs Manchester City(1)

Key Statistics

  • Manchester City have been unbeaten in 22 matches across domestic competitions this season.
  • Manchester City have scored a minimum of 2 goals in their last 12 Premier League matches.
  • Newcastle have failed to defeat Manchester City in 20 of their last 21 matches across all competitions.
  • Newcastle have won only 5 of their 19 Premier League matches this season.
  • At St. James’ Park, the current record between these two sides is 3 draws, 8 wins for Manchester City and 6 wins for Newcastle United.

Player To Watch

Manchester City: Vincent Kompany

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 21: Manchester City player Vincent Kompany in action during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Everton at Etihad Stadium on August 21, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Vincent Kompany in action during the Premier League match against Everton at Etihad Stadium on August 21, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Picture Courtesy – Getty Images)

The Belgian played only his 8th game last week, in a season that has been marred by injuries. It was a fine performance from the Manchester City captain, who helped his side to their Premier League clean sheet since November.

It remains to be seen whether Guardiola risks his captain for the second game in the space of 4 days, but City fans will undoubtedly be keen to see their captain free of injury and continue to play in the heart of City’s defence, doing what he does best.

Prediction

Newcastle United 0-5 Manchester City

In this form, it stopping Manchester City seems near unstoppable and it is unlikely that Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle United, in their current form, will be the first English side to stop them this season. We predict yet another huge victory for the Citizens at St. James’ Park on Wednesday.

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