Ahead of a busy December schedule, Manchester City will look to keep the pressure on the top of the Premier League standings when they go in search of a likely second successive league victory in Newcastle.
Premier League 2019/2020 season
Date: Saturday, November 30th
Kick-off: 12: 30
Venue: St James’ Park
TV Channel: Sky Sports Main Event
Fresh from sealing group top spot in their UEFA Champions League adventure when they drew 1-1 with Shakhtar Donetsk in midweek, Pep Guardiola and his Manchester City side will now turn attentions to maintaining their title push when they tackle The Magpies, and this matchup should produce a relatively routine victory for the visitors.
Newcastle will be reeling from that 2-0 defeat from Aston Villa last time out and will be required to raise their level of competency a lot more higher if they must earn a positive result from this one.
Sitting in 14th on the table, they have a joint fifth-worse defence in the division and are conceding at an average of just below two goals per game, so will have their defence come under severe test against their opposition who showed some real urgency and rampant approach to put Chelsea to the sword last weekend.
However, Steve Bruce’s team have lost just once here all season and have conceded only four goals from their six home league games despite facing teams like Arsenal, Manchester United and Wolves in those encounters.
Can they further dent their rivals title hopes with an unlikely win here, or will City pick apart their opponents and cut the gap to Liverpool to six?
Skipper Jamaal Lascelles and Matt Ritchie will miss the visit of City through injury while this game could come too soon for Florian Lejeune who is only working his way back to full fitness after his lengthy injury lay-off.
They will however, be boosted by the availability of Sean Longstaff after serving his suspension.
Aymeric Laporte, Leroy Sane, Oleksandr Zinchenko and lately Sergio Aguero are the injuries Pep Guardiola will have to contend with. The latter will sorely be missed but Gabriel Jesus will come into the starting XI and cover for his absence.
Bernado Silva is also available for selection yet again.
Head to head
Newcastle hold a slight advantage on head-to-head basis, having got the better of the Citizens on 72 occasions to their opponent’s 68. 39 games have been drawn.
The hosts have however, won just one of the last seven most recent meetings with City, losing five of those.
Man City have scored at least twice in 12 of their last 14 league games.
Newcastle are unbeaten in their last five Premier League matches at the St James’ Park.
Both teams have scored in five of the last six meetings between these two in the Premier League.
Newcastle’s 2-0 defeat at Aston Villa last time out was a damning indictment of their inconsistencies this season. They will take a bit of solace from their performances on home ground though, coming into this one on the back of a five-game unbeaten run at the St James Park. Newcastle’s last five matches in all competitions (LDWWL)
Manchester City have already lost much ground in the title race at this time of the season and will cherish nothing but maximum points from games such as this. The Citizens have won 23 of their last 27 league games coming into this one. City’s last five matches in all competitions (WWWLW)
With Newcastle looking to sit behind the balls and will only be interested in making tentative ventures out of their half, such defensive move will particularly open the door to City troubling them with torrents of attacks and should it produce an early goal, then the hosts could be facing up to a trouncing. I’d jump on the HT/FT result with the hosts to win in the first half and at full time particularly to make good value from here, and that comes at a 7/10 price.
With the visitors shorn of Segio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus presents a rather decent punt at a price of 8/13 to score anytime and trust the Brazilian to get enough of help from the likes of the returning Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling here.