Preview: Manchester City vs. Newcastle United

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Preview: Manchester City vs. Newcastle United

Two of the Premier League’s big winners on the opening weekend square off in an intriguing Etihad encounter on Saturday night, as Manchester City host Newcastle United.

The Magpies demolished Aston Villa 5-1 at St James’ Park last weekend, while Pep Guardiola’s side recently clinched UEFA Super Cup glory against Sevilla.

Ten days on from scoring a fine opener in the Community Shield against Arsenal – albeit one that counted for nought – Cole Palmer made lightning strike twice in Piraeus, heading home the leveller against Sevilla after Youssef En-Nesyri had broken the deadlock.

The Europa League holders and renowned continental specialists carved out several openings against the Champions League winners at Stadio Georgios Karaiskakis, but penalties would be required to decide the destiny of the UEFA Super Cup, where nine spot kicks rippled the net before Nemanja Gudelj rattled the crossbar.

While some people wait a long time for a bus and two come at once, the Man City faithful endured years of European agony before witnessing their side win two continental honours in the space of two months, and their Super Cup success followed a straightforward opening 3-0 Premier League win over Burnley.

The student reunited with his master as Clarets boss Vincent Kompany tried to mastermind an opening-day shock, but Erling Haaland’s customary brace swiftly killed such hopes, before Rodri put the cherry on the icing on the cake to ensure Man City started as they mean to go on.

Now returning to their Etihad headquarters for the first time this season, Man City are aiming to stretch their magnificent Premier League winning streak on familiar turf to 11 matches, having triumphed in all of their top-flight home meetings in 2023 since being held by Everton on New Year’s Eve.

Preview: Man City vs. Newcastle – prediction, team news, lineups

While Man City’s three-goal success at Turf Moor is appropriately good enough for third place in the Premier League table, Eddie Howe’s rampant Newcastle currently lead the way at the top courtesy of their exceptional display against a disjointed Aston Villa side.

Moussa Diaby had initially cancelled out an opener from fellow new arrival Sandro Tonali, but Unai Emery’s high defensive line was subsequently exposed time and time again by Newcastle, as Alexander Isak’s brace, Callum Wilson’s finish and Harvey Barnes’s injury-time strike completed the Magpies’ mauling.

Sitting clear of Man City and Brighton & Hove Albion on goal difference with 37 games left to play, Newcastle will soon have European football on their minds as they wait to learn who they will face in the Champions League group stage, but repairing an underwhelming away record is Howe’s number one priority at this moment in time.

The 5-1 thumping of Villa extended Newcastle’s Premier League unbeaten streak to five matches, but they won just one of their final four away games in the 2022-23 season and have conceded in each of their last nine on the road since a goalless draw with Crystal Palace in January.

It is nearly 12 months to the day since Newcastle and Man City played out a pulsating 3-3 draw at St James’ Park, but Guardiola’s side eased to a 2-0 victory at the Etihad in March and have not been bested by the Magpies since Rafael Benitez oversaw a 2-1 win in January 2019, where a Matt Ritchie penalty proved telling.

Manchester City Premier League form:

Manchester City form (all competitions):

Newcastle United Premier League form:

We say: Manchester City 3-2 Newcastle United
There were plenty of goals in this fixture 12 months ago, and a similarly entertaining encounter could ensue on Saturday, as Howe’s goal-happy Newcastle should take plenty of encouragement from watching Sevilla’s bright attacking display in the Super Cup.

Man City’s midweek fatigue and absence of De Bruyne will do them no favours either, but a rejigged squad should still have too much firepower for Newcastle, who are not the same dogged defensive unit they once were.

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