Newcastle perspective: Mark Jensen, The Mag
All eyes are on Hatem Ben Arfa with Alan Pardew admitting the player’s hamstring problem is still troubling him, so it is touch and go for Saturday. Nobody else is ready to crawl off the injury list so it is same again otherwise.
Performances have picked up to an extent recently but only one win in ten matches doesn’t make good reading. Conceding soft goals has been Newcastle’s latest Achilles heel.
Head To Head
While Newcastle found City an easy touch in the Robson era it has been dismal since, only one point from the last five meetings with a certain Michael Owen the last player to score the winner back in the 2005/06 season.
Vurnon Anita to score anytime at 14.00. improving all the time and getting forward more from midfield.
Under 0.5 goals at 2.95 in the first 45 minutes. NUFC have scored very few first half goals and will be looking to keep it tight.
X/1 for HT/FT at 12.50. I expect us to keep it secure at the back and snatch a winner second half.
Score Prediction: Newcastle 1-0 Manchester City (15.00)
Manchester City prespective: Ric Turner, Blue Moon MCFC
Captain Vincent Kompany is unlikely to feature, having limped out of City’s derby defeat with a groin strain, whilst James Milner, Aleksandar Kolarov and Micah Richards remain sidelined. Gareth Barry serves a one match suspension for allegedly verbally abusing Mark Clattenburg, and is likely to be replaced in central midfield by Javi Garcia. Expect to see Carlos Tevez restored to the starting lineup after an impressive cameo last weekend, at the expense of Mario Balotelli.
Successive defeats against Borussia Dortmund and title rivals United doesn’t quite constitute a crisis at City, but Roberto Mancini will be eager to get back to winning ways at St James Park. The Blues have only won one of their last six games in all competitions, and look a shadow of the team that won the league last year.
Our overall record against Newcastle reads: played 165, won 57, drawn 38, and lost 70. However, we’re unbeaten in our last eleven games against the Magpies, including five away trips to St James Park. Last season’s 2-0 victory in the North East proved decisive in the title race, with Yaya Toure a dominant force in midfield, and City will be hoping for a repeat performance on Saturday.
More than 3.5 Goals at 2.90. Both sides look vulnerable at the back,
The Draw at 3.90. Conceding Home Advantage should lead to an evenly matched game
Yaya Toure as first goalscorer at 10.50. An outside bet that's worth a punt.
Score Prediction: Newcastle 2-2 Manchester City (15.00)