Newcastle vs Manchester City

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Newcastle made seven changes for Saturday’s FA Cup defeat by Watford and will recall a number of key players, including top scorer Salomon Rondon.

Fellow forward Joselu is out with a sprained ankle, while midfielders Mohamed Diame, Jonjo Shelvey and Ki Sung-yueng are also sidelined.

Manchester City will monitor left-back Benjamin Mendy.

He missed City’s last game after complaining of a swollen knee following his comeback from injury at Burton.

Vincent Kompany is again unavailable because of a muscle problem that has ruled him out of the last six matches.

City made four changes for Saturday’s FA Cup win against Burnley, and players such as David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Aymeric Laporte are likely to return to the starting line-up.


Pep Guardiola takes charge of his 100th Premier League game, having seen his Manchester City side score 29 goals in all competitions since they last conceded.

Rafael Benitez, meanwhile, still cuts a frustrated figure as he is yet to welcome a new face to boost a Newcastle team who have lost eight league games at home already.

The reigning champions have the extra incentive of being able to reduce the gap to one point at the top of the table before Liverpool face Leicester on Wednesday, as the psychological part of the season hots up.

The hosts will have to defy history as well as form to secure anything at St James’ Park – Newcastle have taken only three points from the last 66 on offer against City.


Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez: “Each manager is managing the team he has, depending on the characteristics of his players.

“If you have top players you attack. But we need balance. One point could make all the difference, and goal difference is important for us as you have seen.”

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola on whether playing before or after Liverpool is advantageous: “When we play later, when we play early, the only chance we have is to win the games. If we don’t it’s almost over.

“We have the pressure and feel the pressure but we have to handle it.

“There are many points left to win. We can’t think too much about that and think what we have to do.”

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  • Newcastle are winless in their last 22 Premier League games against Manchester City (D3, L19). It is both the Magpies’ longest winless run and City’s longest unbeaten streak against a particular top-flight opponent.
  • The Magpies’ last league win against City came on 24 September 2005, with Michael Owen scoring the only goal at St James’ Park.
  • Newcastle did, however, win a League Cup game at the Etihad Stadium in October 2014.

Newcastle United

  • The Magpies have lost all eight of their league games this season against teams currently in the top six, though all but two of those defeats were by a single-goal margin.
  • Victory against Cardiff ended a run of five league matches without a win for Newcastle, who can secure successive top-flight victories for the first time since November.
  • The Magpies have won four of their last six Premier League home games against sides starting the day in the top two.
  • They have lost all 11 league matches this season in which they have conceded the opening goal.
  • Newcastle’s opponents have not received a red card in any of the Magpies’ last 152 Premier League fixtures, with Newcastle themselves having 18 players dismissed in those games.
  • Rafael Benitez has lost only one of his nine Premier League home matches as a manager against Manchester City (W4, D4), with that defeat coming last season.

Manchester City

  • Manchester City have scored 29 goals in league and cup since they last conceded (in a 2-1 win against Liverpool on 3 January).
  • City have won their previous eight games in all competitions, and have scored 28 unanswered goals in their last six matches.
  • They have claimed four successive Premier League victories, winning the last two by a 3-0 scoreline.
  • Victory would ensure Pep Guardiola breaks the record for most wins by a manager in their first 100 Premier League games. He is currently tied with Jose Mourinho, having won 73 of his 99 matches so far (D15, L11).
  • Kyle Walker could make the 250th Premier League appearance of his career.
  • Sergio Aguero has scored 14 goals in his 12 Premier League appearances against Newcastle – more than any player has scored against an opponent for a single club in the competition’s history




Premier League