As the second half of the season is well under way, Newcastle United have found a bit of form as of late, going unbeaten in their last three matches. Under new manager John Carver , the Magpies have found a rejuvenation of sorts. Aside from a tough letdown leading to a draw last week against Crystal Palace and former manager Alan Pardew, Newcastle has looked a fairly dangerous team.
A tough visit this weekend to the Etihad Stadium will put that form to the test. Carver will surely deploy a similar squad for Newcastle that has had such success recently, although more big injuries will mix it up a bit. Paul Dummett is done for a few months with a knee problem and Remy Cabella has just picked up a knock in training and will miss this weekend’s fixture. Combine that with Davide Santon and many others being out on loan makes for a thin squad.
Manchester City is falling further and further behind Chelsea in the title race, and will need every point they can get to make their challenge. That proposition surely includes taking three points from Newcastle this weekend. John Carver will need to rally his troops and put in a valiant effort to spoil the Citizen’s day.
Tim Krul once again will be the man between the sticks for Newcastle this weekend. He has been a consistent force for a Newcastle team that has been somewhat struggling in recent years. The Dutchman will face a strong attack on Saturday in Manchester City though, so he will need to be on his toes.
With centre backs going down left and right for John Carver, he is left with only two healthy, formidable choices. While Fabricio Coloccini is a solid centre back in the League, his partner Mike Williamson will have to have a big performance for Newcastle for them to win on Saturday. Kun Aguero and company will look to exploit the inexperienced defender, as Manchester City is desperate for points.
The Newcastle full backs are going to be the same as recent matches, as they have both shown good performances. Dutchman Daryl Janmaat is a very promising player, showing last week in his assist of Papiss Cisse’s goal. On the other side, Massadio Haidara is another young player full of promise. He will have another chance to prove himself going against Jesus Navas and others tomorrow afternoon.
The Magpies like to use two defensive midfielders sitting above the back four in their lineup. Jack Colback has been fantastic so far this year, and will surely command one of these two spots for the foreseeable future. As far as his partner on the pitch goes, Carver has two good players to choose from. Vernon Anita is a class player and is comfortable sliding into that defensive role for the Magpies when needed. The other option is another young player, a, who has been mostly a sub as of late.
Ahead of the holding midfielders, Carver has been playing with three attacking midfielders. Ayoze Perez has had found himself in a wonderful spell of play lately, and will undoubtedly get the start probably on the right wing against Manchester City.
He does have the ability to play up top, but with the return of Papiss Cisse he will most likely man the right wing. Joining him in the attack would have surely be Remy Cabella, as the youngster has displayed fine form since the recent manager switch, but he suffered an injury in training on Monday leaving him unavailable.
To slide into Cabella’s vacant central role would be Moussa Sissoko. He is a proven Premier League player who when playing behind the likes of Papiss Cisse, could be very dangerous. To round of the midfield, I’d expect Shola Ameobi to be on the left wing. He has shown he can play out wide and with the injury’s Newcastle has suffered, he will need to prove it.
Newcastle’s lone forward in their formation is none other than Papiss Cisse. He has proven that he is one of the most lethal strikers in the Premier League, boasting the best minutes per goal rate at 74.4 minutes. He is a player with the quality to provide a spectacular goal at any moment, and will surely need to be on his best if Newcastle wants to leave Manchester with any points.