Newcastle United will host Manchester City this Sunday, January 12, 2014 (6:05 AM Pacific, 14:05 GMT) at St. James’ Park.
The Magpies are currently in the eighth place with 33 points, and are looking for a place in the Europa League. In order to achieve this goal, they have to reach the fifth position, which now belongs to Everton with 38 points, so they need to win their matches at home if they want to fight for that. Furthermore, they want to win a match at home after two losses in a row in that condition, against Arsenal (0-1) and Cardiff City (1-2).
Goalkeeper Tim Krul (shoulder) and midfielder Yohan Cabaye (Achilles) missed the last Newcastle match against Cardiff City in the FA Cup, but now they’re training again and will be available on Sunday. However, captain Fabricio Coloccini injured his knee in the match against West Bromwich on New Year’s day, and will be out of the pitch at least for one month. In addition, the full-backs Davide Santon (thigh) and Mathieu Debuchy (suspended, red card against West Brom) can’t play either, so manager Alan Pardew is surely having a headache with the defense for Sunday’s game.
On the other hand, the Citizens are in a great moment in the Premier League, after winning five matches in a row. They’re in the second position, only one point behind the leader Arsenal, and they want a victory on Sunday in order to get to the top of the table -at least until Monday, when Arsenal will visit Aston Villa-.
Manuel Pellegrini is without his top scorer, the Argentinian Sergio Agüero, who was injured in the match against Arsenal on December 14. However, Pellegrini said that el Kun may be fit for next week. He also confirmed that the midfielder Yaya Touré is fit to play on Sunday, after a slight problem in his ankle that forced him to be substituted in the last match – the 6-0 victory against West Ham in the Capital One Cup semifinal.
Managers’ statements in the match preview [source: Newcastle official website]
Alan Pardew, Newcastle manager: “They’re a great team. They’ve probably got, in world football, the best number nine in the business at the minute in (Alvaro) Negredo. They’ve got strength everywhere and it’s a game that they should win, make no mistake about it. But you could argue that about Man United and Chelsea when they came to our place. We can put in a performance that can upset the top teams and that’s what we need to do.”
Manuel Pellegrini, Manchester City manager: “It will be a real fight because when they lost against Arsenal two weeks ago they were playing very well. In the FA Cup they lost against Cardiff but I’m absolutely sure, playing at home, they will be a very difficult team.”
Manchester City is clearly above Newcastle in the last years. Actually, Newcastle’s last victory over the Citizens was on September 2005 in the Premier League, more than eight years ago. Since then, they’ve only tied in two opportunities (both in Premier League), and lost 13 matches (12 in Premier League). Moreover, Manchester City won the last nine matches against Newcastle. The last match between them was on October 30 at St James Park, in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup, in which City won by 2-0 in extra time.
Newcastle vs Manchester City Prediction
I think Manchester City is having an awesome moment, and with their in-form striker Álvaro Negredo in the lead, they’ll take advantage of the Newcastle defense without Coloccini, Santon and Debuchy. Moreover, they’ve won their two matches against the Magpies this season, so they’re clearly the favorites to win the game. My prediction is a 0-3 victory for the Citizens.
Newcastle vs Manchester City TV Info
The match will be televised on NBC Sports Network and Mun2 (USA); BBC One and Sky Sports 1 (UK).
Newcastle vs Manchester City Highlights
Match highlights will be uploaded in this section as soon as the match ends.