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

Our third home game within the space of a week, but this one’s the big one. An FA Cup quarter final against Manchester City.

It’s a huge shame this one has to be played behind closed doors, with this our first chance to make a cup semi-final for 15 years and an occasion which could’ve built a memorable atmosphere inside St James’ Park.

That said, the players will be aware of our desperate search for a trophy and the fact a trip to Wembley awaits the winners.

Guardiola confirmed before their midweek defeat at Chelsea that THIS is their “final” and the one game they want to win. A daunting message, but I doubt there’ll be a man inside St James’ Park more keen to win than Bruce.

After all, cup glory could be the only way he keeps his job on Tyneside should a Saudi takeover finally receive approval – or at least the dream of a Geordie manager who hasn’t seen the club win a major honour in his lifetime.

Predicted XI

(5-2-2-1): Darlow – Manquillo, Schar, Lascelles, Fernandez, Rose – Shelvey, Bentaleb – Saint-Maximin, Almiron – Carroll:

Dubravka is normally nailed on, but Darlow has played in all of our cup games so far – and Steve Bruce seemed more than happy to continue with the former Forest stopper when the Slovakian was injured before the break and expected to miss out on this one. If Bruce is a man of his word, it seems highly likely that Darlow gets the nod here!

On the subject of Bruce being a man of his word, he stated a few weeks back that “we won’t be returning to five at the back”, but many feel he may have to here – especially if industrious duo Hayden and Ritchie fail late fitness tests. With that in mind, Schar could well come in alongside Lascelles and Fernandez, with Manquillo and Rose filling in either side as wing-backs.

Dummett is eligible for the FA Cup, so could be used as a left-sided centre-back (which could come in useful when we have no other left-footed options fit!), but it would be a tough ask to throw him in against such top opposition after three months out.

In midfield, it’s not exactly the pairing you’d want when we’ll likely be chasing the ball for 80% of proceedings, but it seems likely that Shelvey and Bentaleb start if Hayden does miss out. The Longstaff’s are said to be back in training, but, like Dummett, I don’t see Bruce throwing either in against such tough opposition after so long away.

I could then see Almiron and Saint-Maximin being the two men deployed in wide / attacking areas, being tasked to get back into defensive positions and then burst forward with the ball and support the lone striker once we get a chance to counter.

Up top I am struggling to pick who Bruce will go for. On the one hand, Joelinton seems to be our fittest striker and showed patches of renewed confidence against Villa, Carroll bagged a brilliant assist and could not only battle hard but hold the ball up well, while Gayle will also be pushing for a start, with his well taken goal in midweek and mobility on the counter / ability to press making him a decent option – not that he’s ever been suited to a lone striker role.

My head says it’ll be Joelinton, but I’ve got a feeling Bruce will go with Carroll from the off here – a player whose ability to hold the ball up, bring Almiron / Saint-Maximin into play for a counter or offer an outlet from deep (should the defence pump it long) could come in handy.

The Opposition

Here’s ‘ones to watch’ in Pep Guardiola’s scintillating City side:

Kevin De Bruyne – I could’ve named practically all their senior players given their incredible strength in depth, but the one man we must stop is KDB. The best player in the Premier League for me and a player who’ll find that killer pass, burst past our defensive lines or smash one into the top corner if we give him an inch.

Nicolas Otamendi – An odd choice you may think, but with Fernandinho suspended, Stones having only just returned to training and City short on CB’s as a result, the rash Argentine could be our biggest hope of getting a result! He dives into tackles that aren’t their to be won and could struggle with the pace of Saint-Maximin or the power of a Joelinton or Carroll. One to target IF he starts!

Raheem Sterling – The winger’s pace can be devastating, but it’s his movement, ability to get into great areas in the box and eye for goal that stands out the most for me. Whether it’s Rose or Manquillo who’s tasked to track him on Sunday, they won’t be able to switch off for a second.

Gabriel Jesus – With Sergio Aguero ruled out (the man who’s scored 15 goals in 13 games against us!), the young Brazilian will almost certainly start. His record when he plays is impressive, however I’m sure all of our centre-backs would rather square up against him than the free-scoring Argentine who seems to score a couple every time he plays us!

Team news

Isaac Hayden and Matt Ritchie are set for late fitness tests after limping off in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Aston Villa.

Both Longstaff’s are back in training and “might” make the squad, while  Florian Lejeune and Ciaran Clark remain out.

Paul Dummett is ELIGIBLE for this one, with him only out of Bruce’s squad for Premier League games, however it remains to be seen if the NUFC boss feels he’s ready to be thrown straight into the mix after three months away from competitive action.

Sergio Aguero has been ruled out with a knee injury, while Fernandinho will miss the game through suspension.

Phil Foden, Joao Cancelo, John Stones and Eric Garcia are set to be assessed over the weekend after all four missed their midweek defeat at Chelsea.

Hopefully the latter duo miss out so Pep is forced to start Otamendi at centre-back!

Prediction

I thought we MIGHT just be able to pull off an upset if we had 52,000 screaming Geordies behind us, but I’m struggling to see how we find a way through without true home advantage.

Saint-Maximin will be key to any success we may have, with us needing to see him at his brilliant best to unsettle this City side, however we’ll also have to defend superbly at the other end to keep out the likes of KDB, Sterling, Jesus, the two Silva’s, Mahrez and more!

Steve Bruce has proved me wrong a few times already this season, so let’s hope he does it again here!

I can’t see it, but you just never know with NUFC…

Prediction: Newcastle 1-3 Man City

HWTL!

(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.

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

  1. kimtoon:
    Don’t think we have a cat in hells chance .

    agree mate i dont come on often keep filling in imfo gets on my ****,from last thread about NHS the cops imo are getting worse my girl was attacked while on a job and badly brusied,took cops two days to come and see her then told sorry we let him off because he could have a metal problem,i meam come on assalt is assalt is it not ffs

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  2. valerie murphy: agree mate i dont come on often keep filling in imfo gets on my ****,from last thread about NHS the cops imo are getting worse my girl was attacked while on a job and badly brusied,took cops two days to come and see her then told sorry we let him off because he could have a metal problem,i meam come on assalt is assalt is it not ffs

    valerie murphy: agree mate i dont come on often keep filling in imfo gets on my ****,from last thread about NHS the cops imo are getting worse my girl was attacked while on a job and badly brusied,took cops two days to come and see her then told sorry we let him off because he could have a metal problem,i meam come on assalt is assalt is it not ffs

    Blimey, hope your girl is better now.

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  3. You know it will just be farting around from Man City so just get a goal and they can fck off.

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  4. You all im Gooing dancing weev wooovls now.

    Down with the Villa.

    (That was my attenpmt at a Black Country accent).

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  5. This one is difficult to predict apart from the result.

    I am going with Lawro and Man City 3 NUFC 0.

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  6. The actor Dennis Qauid, age 66, just got married to a 27 year old. Imagine the wedding reception with her dad and the grandkids! Hairy Hands Keys turned up with his latest girlfriend, Ariana, 12.

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  7. KIM have they fixed your internet yet?they seemed to fanny about with you.you been with them a wile now.look around mate theres some good deals at the moment,
    dont think will get much today its all City have left to go for now

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  8. Eric Sykes:
    The actor Dennis Qauid, age 66, just got married to a 27 year old. Imagine the wedding reception with her dad and the grandkids! Hairy Hands Keys turned up with his latest girlfriend, Ariana, 12.

    hopefuuly its his last yr in the job,think the Arabs will be gunning for him

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  9. icedog:
    KIM have they fixed your internet yet?they seemed to fanny aboutwith you.you been with them a wile now.look around mate theres some good deals at the moment,
    dont think will get much today its all City have left to go for now

    icedog:
    KIM have they fixed your internet yet?they seemed to fanny aboutwith you.you been with them a wile now.look around mate theres some good deals at the moment,
    dont think will get much today its all City have left to go for now

    Ice, yeah it’s fixed, had a broken cable, also got a new tivo box. That’s the good news, the bad news is my virgin landline phone is not working now, noticed it 5 mins after they left when i went to make a call, now have to wait until tues for engineer 🙄

    Inclined to agree re City Ice, it’s all they have now and think we’ll face the backlash of them not winning the title. Just hope we give a good account of ourselves and it doesn’t go to extra time and knacker the lads for next PL game .

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  10. kimtoon:
    Ice, yeah it’s fixed, had a broken cable, also got a new tivo box. That’s the good news, the bad news is my virgin landline phone is not working now, noticed it 5 mins after they left when i went to make a call, now have to wait until tues for engineer 🙄

    Inclined to agree re City Ice, it’s all they have now and think we’ll face the backlash of them not winning the title. Just hope we give a good account of ourselves and it doesn’t go to extra time and knacker the lads for next PL game .

    oh no ffs,thought my luck was poor you just dont have any

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  11. Anybody got an internet link? It is not on regular US TV.

    Watford losing 2 nil. I always find it funny when so-called NUFC fans on Blogs predict we are not safe and predict that teams that have won 7 games from 32 will win 4 of their last 6 and overhaul us.

    We are safe. Just get it into your thick skulls.

    40 points was never the magic number. 37 has been enough most years. 40 is a round number not a “magic” number.

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  12. Of all the bad things going on in the world – CV19, a probable global recession, Piers Morgan – I now have to endure a John Anderson commentary. Just when you think things cannot get any worse, life throws you the miserablist to make matters even worse.

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  13. Even Ando’s intro is depressing. Does anybody have an internet link. PLEEEEASE, I dont want to listen to Ando.

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  14. Eric Sykes:
    Anybody got an internet link? It is not on regular US TV.

    Watford losing 2 nil. I always find it funny when so-called NUFC fans on Blogs predict we are not safe and predict that teams that have won 7 games from 32 will win 4 of their last 6 and overhaul us.

    We are safe. Just get it into your thick skulls.

    40 points was never the magic number. 37 has been enough most years. 40 is a round number not a “magic” number.

    Eric, it’s on bbc1. Can you access uk terrestrial TV? Try http://www.filmon.com. That’s what I used while I was in Dubai for uk tv channels.

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  15. This is f@cking pathetic!!.

    We are standing waiting for them to come to us. We aren’t closing them down at all!!. Just stood waiting for them to fire shots in.

    I’m raging here!!. All the praise for Bruce – him saying he wants to play a different way – this is worse than watching a Rafa team this.

    It’s embarrassing!!. A league 1 or 2 team would give City a better game than this – SH!TE!!!

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  16. This site is pissing me off almost as much watching this totally shi.t performance. 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

    Just a matter of how many now…

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  17. I understand City are a better side than us, but if you give them all the time in the world to play their football and pick out the passes – what the hell do you expect. We aren’t closing down, we aren’t getting in their faces or getting a tackle in – in fact, all the things City ARE doing on the few occasions they’ve lost the ball.

    Everyone raving about City’s brilliance and dominance – B0LL0CKS!!! Newcastle are doing NOTHING!!. It’s pathetic & I hate that we play this way.

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  18. The posts aren’t updating on this damn site. Olly I know it’s not you that fixes it, but can you get on to whoever does – I’m getting close to sacking it off now like

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  19. Didnt expect us to win. Still reckon we will get about 5 more points to get us to 13th or 14th but we are safe anyway on 39.

    #BruceOut

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  20. kimtoon:
    If the Saudi’s are watching this they’ll be having second thoughts.

    Kim – funny you should say that, I was going to say anyone who thinks Bruce’s deserves a chance with the new owners needs their heads tested after that performance!!.

    I wish we were 4 or 5 nil down at half time after our approach in the first half.

    All the pundits banging on about how good City were – we stood and watched. Sean Longstaff might as well have been sat here next to me – he did nothing the whole game.

    If this takeover doesn’t happen, I’m done with Newcastle. I’m sick of watching this sh!te now, can’t do it anymore.

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  21. There you go Olly. It actually was meaningful that the bookies had us at 16-1 to win and Man City at 3-16 to win.

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  22. Sharpy, mate. I am not sure the pundits have watched our games because otherwise they would know that until our last 3 PL games we have been extremely lucky and reliant on Dubravka.

    I stopped going to the pub when our games were not on regular TV because I knew what I would see. Even with a win or a draw we would have 30% possession and 2 shots on target.

    I gave Brucie until Christmas to see what he was about but have maintained since then that he would get us relegated next year. I pray for the takeover, even though I do not believe in God 🙂

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  23. Eric Sykes:
    There you go Olly. It actually was meaningful that the bookies had us at 16-1 to win and Man City at 3-16 to win.

    I’m still not sure what your point is mate. I found it pretty ludicrous that you wanted to see us prioritise a league campaign that promises to fizzle out over a chance to make a FA Cup semi final.

    Think you’re forgetting this NUFC team beat City last season at SJP and drew with them here a few months back.

    OK, it’s different without fans, I just wanted players to be full fit so we could give this game 110% – but Bruce hung a few out to dry vs Villa and got it wrong today.

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  24. I’m still trying to work out his Gayle missed that chance…

    The more I think about it the more I think Bruce has worked miracles. Getting to 39 points with the strikers we have is miracle territory. But I’d still like to see some better football.

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