Newcastle take on reigning Premier League champions Manchester City at St James’ Park tomorrow lunchtime, with both clubs hopeful of bouncing back from defeat in their last game.
The home side lost 2-1 at Fulham on Monday night whilst Roberto Mancini’s Manchester City lost the Manchester derby to Manchester United.
While both sides are undoubtedly looking for a win, the three point reward would come in very handy for differing reasons. Newcastle need to pull an unlikely result out of the bag in attempt to pull away from the relegation spots whilst Manchester City will be looking for the three points to keep them in touch with their arch-rivals from the other side of Manchester at the top of the table.
Hatem Ben Arfa made a scoring return at Craven Cottage on Monday after missing the previous four games with a hamstring problem. Unfortunately it would appear that he aggravated the injury against Fulham and is now doubtful for the visit of City tomorrow.
Also sidelined are Yohan Cabaye, Steven Taylor, Dan Gosling, Haris Vuckic and Ryan Taylor although Gabriel Obertan is edging closer towards being available once again*.
Vincent Kompany is unlikely to play after being give only a “2% chance” of making the game by Roberto Mancini. Gareth Barry is suspended while former Magpie James Milner misses out with a hamstring injury. Also sidelined are Micah Rochards, Jack Rodwell and Aleksandar Kolarov.
It’s been seven years since we last beat Manchester City. That win came back in September 2005 courtesy of a single goal by Michael Owen. Since that victory we’ve managed just two draws in eleven games against the Citizens.
At St James’ Park we have the upper hand in terms of historical meetings. There have been 82 games played in all competition at St James’ Park and Newcastle have won 50 of them. Manchester City have won on 15 occasions with 17 draws making up the numbers over the years. Our biggest ever home victory over City came back in October 1983, with United running out 5-0 winners on that occasion.
Overall, home and away in all competitions, United have the upper hand but it’s much closer. Of 165 meetings between the two sides, Newcastle have won 70, Manchester City have won 57 matches with the other 38 ending in a draw.
Match stats and facts…
Newcastle are poor in the month of December. We’ve lost 41 matches played in this month, more than any other Premier League team in the entire history of the competition.
It’s been 61 games since Newcastle have turned a half-time deficit into a full-time victory.
Newcastle are ten point worse off than we were at the same stage last season.
On a smaller scale but along the same lines, City are yet to win in December.
Mancini’s men have kept clean sheets in their last three away matches. They have never kept four away clean sheets in a row. Ever.
City have not lost back-to-back Premier League matches for over two years.
This is one of those games where expectations of a result amongst the fan base remain low. With Newcastle on such a dire run of form and City full of strength the conception is that we’ll get turned over at St James’ Park tomorrow.
Maybe we will, maybe we won’t, but I’m not expecting anything other than defeat. Obviously I’d like us to give it a go and get the three points but the way we’ve been playing I just can’t see it. Stranger things have happened though…
Howay the lads!
Date: Saturday, 15th December, 2012
Time: 12:45pm – Live on Sky
Venue: St James’ Park