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Newcastle vs. Manchester City - Match thread: Howe’s archnemesis at St James’ Park

St James’ Park welcomes City ready to avenge last season’s late 5-0 trashing at the Etihad

Newcastle United v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Newcastle might not be finding the reinforcements they need in the transfer market but one thing is true and that’s the fact that the Premier League won’t stop to wait for those to arrive in Tyneside. It’s not that the Magpies can complain, though, as they are a top-five side entering the third matchday of the season and are tied at four points apiece with five other clubs in the baby-season table.

Leading the way, though, are Manchester City. The sky blue have scored six goals while conceding none. At least Newcastle can say they have allowed the same tally themselves, having yet to get a ball inside their net with to games already in the book. That doesn’t take from the massive task at hand and coming to St James Park for the Geordie Lads to handle this Sunday.

With Jonjo Shelvey expected to be on the shelves for quite some time but Matt Targett assumed to be fit to make the starting XI, every warm body would be helpful for an Eddie Howe that, in all honesty, should and probably must start delivering against top-level sides after putting together a rather middling resume when it comes to slashing giants in the Premier League.

The critics might be harsh here and there, but the truth is that the track record isn’t anything for Howe to call home proud about. Howe’s sides have faced a member of the Big Six in 75 total matches and all they did was accrue a rather paltry 10 victories (13.3 W%) and an average of 0.51 PPM. That’s not even a point per game, which would be akin to a draw, which is the minimum a top-caliber team/manager should be demanded to average against any sort of team at the top level of the English pyramid.

More concerning for the Geordie Faithful: 12 games, 12 losses for Howe against Man. City since the day he decided to start his managerial career. Ugh.

Perhaps the only good news for How is that Newcastle as a whole hasn’t fared much better against Manchester City than he’s done by himself (he’s only managed NUFC twice against the Citizens, mind you).

The Magpies have put up an embarrassing 1-1-7 record against Manchester City in the past four seasons going back to the first match in that span taking place on Sep. 1, 2018. United got the better of City the next January and drew against the Sky Blue the following November, but once the decade turned to the dreaded 20s it was over for Newcastle, which have now strung six consecutive defeats against Guardiola’s team while scoring three goals (all in the same game) against Manchester’s 22. Ooffff...

City are coming hotter than melting lava and off two easy victories against West Ham and Bournemouth in the past two weeks of play. As much as Erling Haaland’s eight touches over his last 90 minutes have been discussed, the truth is that he completed two successful passes, and one of those ended in an assist. I mean, that’s all you need to know about how little this man—and his team as a whole—needs to do to demolish you any day of the week.

The only squad that has been able to stop City of late was Liverpool in their Community Shield affair, and one has to question how real was that considering the Reds are already on the verge of missing the Premier League’s title train with just two games played.

To be brutally honest, Newcastle is still worlds away from reaching Manchester City in any and every facet. They are growing as a club thanks to the Saudi takeover but they’re still not able to exploit the full benefits of such investment. They have added (present and future) key players to the squad, but they definitely don’t boast the likes of Kevin De Bruyne or Erling Haaland. But they have the same dream—and that is because it was just a dream back in the day—City had a few years ago when they were just another promoted second-level side. To win big time.

So let’s get the party started against no one else than the doppelganger.

Newcastle United XI

Manchester City XI

Newcastle vs. Manchester City

  • Date: Sunday, August 21
  • Kick-off: 16:30 BST / 11:30 EST / 08:30 PST
  • Location: St James’ Park, Newcastle (England)
  • TV: SKY GO Extra, Sky Ultra HD, Sky Sports Premier League, Sky Sports Main Event (UK), SiriusXM FC, Telemundo, USA Network, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (USA), fuboTV (Canada)

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Howay the Lads!