Man City Aiming to Make a Big Statement against Newcastle United
Man City Aiming to Make Big Statement against Newcastle United
As the old adage goes, “form is temporary, class is permanent”. It is a testament to Man City’s spectacular season so far that many are attributing Pep Guardiola’s stellar line up with a decline off the back of their 4-3 loss, their first of the season, against Liverpool last weekend. As with any great team, a disheartening loss is generally followed up by a spirited statement of intent. Man City will no doubt be aiming to silence all critics with an exhibition of their superiority.
In late December, City travelled to St James’ Park and left with all three points. Although Raheem Sterling bagged the only goal of the afternoon, it was clear that Newcastle were dominated and perhaps lucky to escape with a respectable loss. Sergio Aguero twice the post, while Kevin de Bruyne also hit the woodwork. At the Etihad Stadium on Saturday 20th January, it is difficult to see anything but a convincing win for “The Citizens”.
While Man City’s loss to Liverpool may have brought their impressive run of 30 games unbeaten to an end at Anfield, it is hard to see Newcastle taking all three points at the Etihad. Liverpool’s intrepid attacking approach and boundless energy were simply not expected by City. In order for Benitez’s men to stand any chance of penetrating Guardiola’s cohesive machine, they will require energy, creativity and pace, which, unfortunately, they do not have. Goals have been hard to come by, with just 5 in their last 5 outings.
City will be aiming to run riot against United, and look a very smart choice to win the game with a -2.0 handicap at 10/11 with Paddy Power.
Head to Head
Prior to the loss at Liverpool, Man City had conceded just 13 goals all season. While they pushed themselves back into the game, it was ultimately too late in the end. Newcastle United, on the other hand, could only manage a 1-1 draw against bottom club Swansea City. Having conceded 31 goals all season (just three more than 3rd Placed Liverpool), despite lingering in 15th place, it is clear that attack is the major problem.
Newcastle have scored just 23 goals in 23 games, to Man City’s 67. In terms of head-to-head, the last two games between the teams have ended in a 1-0 win for the Manchester outfit and a 1-1 draw, respectively. Prior to this, City won 6-1 and 5-0, which should be more in line with what to expect on Saturday. Here at Betting Top 10, we found Guardiola’s stars are priced at 15/2 with BoyleSports to win 4-0, while 5-0 will bag you an attractive 12/1.
Perhaps the most telling factor in this clash is the difference between City’s goals-per-game ratio compared to their rivals from the North East. City’s 2.91 average of goals scored compared to Newcastle’s 0.91 demonstrates the lack of creativity Benitez’s men take to Manchester. Having won 12 and drawn 1 in their last 13 meetings, the ascendency will certainly be with Guardiola and co.
While United’s defence has held up reasonably well, there is simply no direction or fluency to their play. Opportunities will be scarce for Newcastle, who will have their hands full attempting to deal with the comprehensive style and cohesion of City.
Newcastle United’s profligacy against bottom team Swansea City demonstrated just how little creativity they have in their ranks. With a game plan which is easily anticipated, this will play into the hands of a fired-up Manchester City intent on righting the wrongs of their first loss of the season. With little pace or attacking ingenuity to worry about, expect City to be truly firing on all cylinders come Saturday.
There will certainly be lots of goals, but don’t expect any of the Newcastle team sheet to feature among the scorers. Raheem Sterling, the match winner in December’s fixture at St James’ Park, is a very nice choice at Evens with Betfair to score at any time in the game. Despite Pep Guardiola expressing the ‘difficulty’ of playing against ‘ultra-defensive teams’ such as Newcastle United, the Spaniard should have enough insight to ensure his team takes all three points in style.
Prediction: Man City 5:0 Newcastle United