Manchester City out to continue winning form against stop-start Newcastle
Manchester City to win 2-1
Although Manchester City have come in for some criticism so far this season, they have put together a respectable run of results which includes just one defeat from their last 11 league matches.
Despite never fully hitting top gear at any point during their opening 13 matches, they still only sit three points off the top four places and eight points off leaders Liverpool with a game in hand.
They will certainly fancy their chances of making up the gap if they can really hit form over the next month or so.
Newcastle have only lost one of their last four matches, but the feeling is that they’re as likely to lose 3-0 as they are to win by the same scoreline.
They have quality players but many who do not perform consistently enough to earn their side a place in the top half.
City are favourites.
Form Guide (all comps): WWDDW
Reasons to be cheerful:
Just one defeat in 11 matches
Have shown defensive strength of late
Reasons to be fearful:
Still struggling to score quantities of goals
Lacking consistent striker up front
Manchester City are a side who have shown us their almost unrivalled quality going forward over the past few seasons under Pep Guardiola, but this campaign have struggled to score goals in the same quantities.
Their 19 goals is the lowest in the top half of the table and have found it difficult without a recognised centre forward for much of the season. Sergio Aguero has been limited to just six appearances due to injury, while Gabriel Jesus has only featured in 10.
The likes of Sterling and new signing Ferran Torres have often been used there as a ‘false 9’, but are not top-class centre forwards like Aguero and Jesus.
Their defence is much-better, however. Only conceding 12 goals, they have the tightest record in the league.
Star Man – John Stones
His career under Guardiola looked to be over, but he has fought back to be arguably the number one choice for City these days.
Form Guide (all comps): LWWLD
Reasons to be cheerful
Only one victory fewer than City this season
Seven points from last 15 available is comfortable form
Reasons to be fearful
Two players still struggling with Covid-19
Unpredictability means as likely to lose as to win
Newcastle face a tough end of 2020, facing last year’s champions Liverpool following this match up against Manchester City.
They have the firepower up front to win both games, though are probably more likely to thrashed by the pair of them. That’s the situation that Newcastle fans have had to put up with so far this season.
A glance at the table will tell you they are only five points behind City, having played a game fewer due to their postponed fixture due to coronavirus. Sadly, two players, Saint-Maximin and Lascelles are still suffering with long-term symptoms of the disease, several weeks on from catching it.
At least Callum Wilson is still fit and firing – his penalty earned Newcastle their 7th point from their last five matches.
Star Man – Callum Wilson
Now has 8 goals and 3 assists this season – he has already proved to be a great buy by The Magpies
Manchester City will be favourites
Newcastle can grab a goal if they’re positive
Who will start up front for City?
Pep Guardiola says they will not prioritise buying a new striker in January – so who will start up front here?
Whoever it is, they will have to be sharp after Christmas to start scoring more goals for City.
That being said, City are favourites here, and it would be surprising if Newcastle took anything away from it.
Manchester City to win 2-1