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Manchester City vs. Newcastle - Preview, Lineups & Talking Points

Current Champs vs. Future Champs in the Gulf State Derby

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Manchester City v Newcastle United - Premier League Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

Manchester City and Pep Guardiola will try to do something nobody in Premier League history has accomplished before: winning four consecutive league titles.

While the Red Devils were the dominant force of the EPL early days, getting to win three consecutive titles in two different spans (1999-01, 2007-09), it’s now the Blue Mancunians who are demolishing all other squads in the English top-flight division and aiming at doing the impossible having won the chip in the 2021-23 span already.

Had it not been for Liverpool’s rare championship campaign in 2020, City would have won the Premier League six consecutive times already. Not that lifting the trophy in five of the last six years isn’t impressive, mind you.

That’s the type of challenge Newcastle would love to have in their hands, but it’s still a bit too early for that. Step by step, slowly but surely, the Magpies will definitely try to get there.

The season kicked off superbly for both NUFC and MCFC with both sides winning their games by four and three goals respectively and sitting first and virtually second in the table entering Saturday’s matchup.

Last season, these two squads met as soon as MD3 when they went on to offer those watching live on location and on broadcasts across the world such a stupendous spectacle: a 3-3 draw in front of 52,258 souls sitting on the edge of their St James’ Park seats.

City defeated Newcastle when they played at the Etihad later in the season and earlier this year, in March, beating the Magpies 2-0 at home.

It’s revenge time, folks.

You can read everything Howe had to say here, as part of our pre-match coverage.

Probable Lineups

The Guardian prediction at the upcoming Starting XIs from the Magpies and the Cityzens is in, so let’s go through what could be coming from Newcastle’s Eddie Howe.

Lineup Notes

  • Not Available: Willock (hamstring), Krafth (knee)
  • Doubtful:

Talking Points

  • Newcastle have not announced the transfer nor the loan, but Eddie Howe pretty much confirmed it in his pre-game press conference on Friday when asked about it: Lewis Hall will be donning Magpie threads this season (on loan) and for the foreseeable future (through a must-buy clause in June 2024).
  • Having Hall today or not wouldn't have changed anything, though. Hall comes to add some competition to those sticking to the left-back position—read: Dan Burn and Matt Targett—but it’s not that he will be an instant-starter any time soon, let alone with Burn available.
  • That means that, yes, you guessed it right, we’re in for another back-five comprising Pope, Trips, Schar, Bots, and Burn. Not broken, don’t fix it.
  • The lads put five bangers past Aston Villa a week ago. Five, freaking, goals. That alone is telling me that Howe won’t make a single tiny change to the XI, which is something we should expect to be the case for at least a couple or three more games and until the Champions League fixtures arrive in mid-September.
  • I want to see Harvey Barnes as much as anyone out there, but Anthony Gordon has done nothing to lose the starting gig so odds are he retains it today unless Howe decides to go on a slightly more defensive approach with Barnes usually putting on more effort tracking back. I’m betting on Barnes starting today more out of passion than realistic expectations, anyway, because I’m a prisoner of love.
  • Last season, we’d have been discussing the possibility of using Joelinton on the left wing to have a more balanced/defensive side. Joelinton is now a midfield-tank and there are plenty of options available to use on the flank. Again, this team is freaking loaded all of a sudden. And we love it.
  • Miggy doesn’t know how to stop running once he attempts the first sprint so he’ll be there from the get-go. Isak is basically unplayable these days, so put he stays. Nothing else to report.

CHN Predicted Lineup

GK Pope
DEF Trippier - Schar - Botman - Burn
MID Tonali - Bruno - Joelinton
WNG Almiron - Barnes
FWD Isak

Newcastle XI

Man City XI

  • Date: Saturday, August 19th
  • Kick-off: 20:00 BST / 15:00 EST
  • Location: Etihad Stadium, Manchester (England)

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Howay the Lads!