Man City (H): Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted line ups

The reigning champions arrive at St James’ Park this weekend, and they’ll be out for blood after falling behind Liverpool in the title race.

A potentially daunting challenge awaits Steve Bruce and his players, yet, as dangerous as they are, it’s felt like this Manchester City side can be got at.

They could pass us off the park, cut through our defensive lines and score goals for fun if they turn up and we do not, however their defensive frailties give us a glimmer of hope heading into this one.

Games like this won’t define our season, but put in a display which remotely resembles what we saw on Monday night and it could get ugly.

After big wins over Spurs and Man Utd already this season, let’s hope we’re ‘at it’ against another big six side here. We’ll need to be if we want to come away with anything.

Predicted XI

There had been calls for both Almiron and Joelinton to be dropped after their dismal displays at Villa on Monday, but Steve Bruce has all but confirmed they’ll be in his starting line-up when the team sheets are announced come 11.30am on Saturday.

In fairness, both showed signs of progress in wins over West Ham and Bournemouth, yet the misfiring duo showed an alarming lack of quality or confidence at Villa Park – and if we’re to get anything against City, we’ll need to be clinical if and when chances come.

In midfield, you can only presume Isaac Hayden will start, but Bruce must decide whether he sticks with Jonjo Shelvey or recalls Sean Longstaff following his return from a three-game ban. The former could be key in setting us away on the counter, with his passing having the ability to quickly turn defence into attack and set away our outlets in wide areas, however his lack of mobility and tendency to switch off defensively is a real worry when up against the Kevin De Bruyne’s of this world. If Shelvey gives him an inch he’ll take a mile, so Bruce may be tempted to recall Sean Longstaff, who’s work rate and discipline off the ball is far superior to Shelvey’s.

At the back, it seems Emil Krafth has been tipped to replace DeAndre Yedlin – who’ll miss out with a hip problem. Personally, I’d prefer to see Javier Manquillo come in, with him more likely to compete in a foot race with Raheem Sterling, but the fact he’s been out of Bruce’s squad lately suggests to me the Swede will come in. He got torn apart by Sadio Mane and Harvey Barnes in his last two starts, so that area could be a cause for concern for a player still adapting to the pace of this league.

At centre-back, the fact Lejeune wasn’t in the squad last weekend tells me he’ll be on the bench at best for this one, but I do expect Schar to start. Federico Fernandez could then come into the centre of our back five, while I’d expect Ciaran Clark to get the nod over Paul Dummett, with the latter switching off for Villa’s second goal on Monday on his return to the side.

Preferred NUFC XI – (5-2-2-1) – Dubravka – Manquillo, Schar, Fernandez, Clark, Willems – Hayden, S.Longstaff – Almiron, Saint-Maximin – Joelinton.

The Opposition

Here’s a few key men to watch out for in Pep Guardiola’s Man City side:

Kevin De Bruyne – The Belgian star is the best player in the Premier League for me. He’s leading the way with assists (10), bagging almost twice as many as any other player in the league, so must not be given time and space to pull the strings.

Raheem Sterling – With just 1 strike in his last 6 league games, he’s on a lean spell in front of goal, but that won’t last long. His pace, movement and intelligence is second to none as Premier League wingers go, so the he’ll be up against Krafth or Manquill – who’ll be coming in from the cold – is a big worry.

Gabriel Jesus – The Brazilian looks set to get a run in the side following an injury to top scorer Sergio Aguero – and the stats say he scores more often than not when he plays. City fans are backing him to step up in Aguero’s absence, so he’ll be one to watch.

Predicted Man City XI (4-1-2-3): Ederson – Walker, Stones, Fernandinho, Mendy – Rodri – D.Siva, De Bruyne – Sterling, Jesus, B.Silva.

Team news

DeAndre Yedlin is set to miss out with a hip injury, joining long-term absentees Jamaal Lascelles and Matt Ritchie on the sidelines.

Sean Longstaff is back from a ban, however, while Fabian Schar and Florian Lejeune will also be pushing for starts after being declared fit to play by Steve Bruce.

For the visitors, Sergio Aguero has been ruled out – which is a relief given his prolific record against us – while Oleksandr Zinchenko, Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane are long-term absentees.

Prediction

I do think we’ll score, and back Allan Saint-Maximin to cause them all sorts of problems on the counter, however I don’t see us having much of the ball and worry about how we’ll cope with that if Shelvey’s in midfield and Krafth is coming in from the cold to man-mark Sterling.

I think we’ll need to be even better than we were in that 1-0 win at Spurs to get a result here, with absolutely every player needing to carry out their roles to a tee if we’re to hurt them at both ends of the field.

A part of me fears a hammering, but I’m hoping we at least give them a game in response to Monday’s horror-show.

Prediction: Newcastle 1-3 Man City

Howay the lads!

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

28 thoughts on “Man City (H): Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted line ups

  1. Jamie: the thing about Mad and Ugly John McCarver is that 95% of what he says seems to make sense. The 5% is where he gets into trouble and why he was shyte.

    He is like a guest at your wedding who makes a speech and then suddenly raises his kilt to show that he has painted his arse blue.

    That never happened to me but I can imagine Ugly John doing it.

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  2. On way back from Dubai and I will have to keep updated on line. I foresee an absolute drubbing. If Krafth is starting we are ****ed. Sterling will rip him a new one and we will get fewer chances than we normally have and we don’t score even when we do create a lot. I wouldn’t rule out taking the lead but jeez it could be a long day.

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  3. Well. This has to be the last chance salloon for the front together 3 today. They all seem to have talent but you will not get very far if your 3 main strikers do not score goals.

    Shelvey is Captain but that shouldn’t mean he cannot be subbed on 60 minutes if he is having one of his ineffective games which is very likely against Man City.

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  4. On a more positive note: it is 6.30 in the morning and I have 6 beers in the fridge if I need them to celebrate or commiserate. That’s the thing about beer it has multi-uses.

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  5. Stuart79:
    On way back from Dubai and I will have to keep updated on line. I foresee an absolute drubbing. If Krafth is starting we are ****ed. Sterling will rip him a new one and we will get fewer chances than we normally have and we don’t score even when we do create a lot. I wouldn’t rule out taking the lead but jeez it could be a long day.

    Stuart they show live football on emirates mate if that how you’re flying..

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  6. I can’t watch football with the sound on for the 1st 15 minutes anymore. The commentator has to tell you every fact about the history of both teams that he looked up on the internet and has colour coded on a notepad for our pleasure.

    Was it Martin Tyler that started this bloody trend? Arlo White over here has perfected it. In addition, he overdescribes all of the action, which is another relatively recent thing they do. Well, since Sky took over anyway.

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  7. Yes Martin, whatt we all need to know is what happened between these 2 sides in 1898. And Arlo, tell us about the FA Cup game in 1286 that ended in a 3-3 draw.

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  8. It is so frustratingly close with our forwards. Again on 16 minutes with Almiron. It is like having a team of Moussa Sissokos.

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  9. Before our goal Gundogan got a yellow for YET ANOTHER tactical foul. Pep spreads them around but somebody should be getting a red to stop this cheating tactic.

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  10. That wasn’t terrible in the 1st half. Not Villa terrible. We have a couple of young and athletic Longstaffs to come on if the midfield tires.

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  11. Well canny so far. Kept our shape and doing ok. Great goal to equalise.. yet another defender goal… 😳😳.
    Let’s see what the second half will bring..

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  12. A draw that felt like a win.

    I don’t think we are going down. It just doesn’t feel like it.

    And the boycotters can still fck off. They want us to have support away and a boycott at home. I never understood that. Like Ashley cares about a few thousand every 2 weeks or Sky even mention empty seats.

    I have said this before but need to mention it again because there are many blog posts that are on the other side. Olly included.

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  13. AND it was so good we scored from the calculated foul. I have nothing against Pep apart from the fact he obviously prepares his teams to do the tactical foul.

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  14. Agree with all. The lads played really well today and I thought the defence was outstanding – I’m gonna mention Manq though who came into the side to face City and Sterling 😱. I thought he did really well and he’d get in ahead of Yedlin for me 🤷🏼‍♂️.

    A well deserved point coming from behind twice.

    Well done boys, and well done Brucey 🙌🏻👏🏼

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  15. Sharpy17:
    Agree with all.The lads played really well today and I thought the defence was outstanding – I’m gonna mention Manq though who came into the side to face City and Sterling .I thought he did really well and he’d get in ahead of Yedlin for me .

    A well deserved point coming from behind twice.

    Well done boys, and well done Brucey

    Yup, Manquillo did very well I though. Stronger defensively than Yedlin. And yet another goal from a defender. I think we need to make Willems loan permanent. Doing well.

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  16. Sharpy17: Quote)

    Sharpy17
    November 30, 2019 at 15:09

    Sharpy. Manquillo was showing such improvement earlier in the season he should never have been dropped. More reliable than Yedlin.

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