Manchester City will look to put their midweek Champions League disappointment behind them as they entertain Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium. The blues injury time defeat to Real Madrid will haunt them until the end of the season, but City will look to getting a valuable three points on Sunday to keep ahead of Liverpool.
After a poor start, Newcastle are now looking at top half finish, and were narrowly beaten last time out at home to Liverpool, and the blues will need to watch the resurgence in the Toon to make sure they stay ahead of the Mersey reds.
Newcastle have made a remarkable recovery to throw aside their early season form and now sit in tenth place in the Premier League table. When City visited St James’s Park in December, Newcastle were second from bottom, having won just one match all season. A shock FA Cup defeat at home to Cambridge United saw Newcastle hit their lowest point.
With their survival at threat, Newcastle embarked on an eight-match unbeaten run, winning six. A three-match losing streak threatened to derail their recovery, but four straight wins fired the Magpies up the table and away from the relegation zone.
Callum Wilson is Newcastle’s top scorer with six goals so far this season. However, the former Bournemouth striker has only played fifteen matches so far his season, so a haul of six is not bad for the minimal games played.
Allan Saint-Maximin is a bigger threat. He has scored five goals so far, but with forty-six, he has attempted the most shots in the Newcastle side. However, with thirty-four games played, Saint-Maximin has a low goal conversion rate of just 11%.
The Frenchman leads the way with assists though. He has claimed four so far, and has created forty-six chances, the highest from the entire team.
The blues will also need to be aware of the form of Joelinton and Bruno Guimaraes. The former has been on good form recently, while January signing Guimaraes looks to have rejuvenated the Newcastle side.
Who’s the Boss?
Former Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe is the man at the Newcastle helm. He replaced Steve Bruce in November and, after a shaky start, has steadied the ship and guided Newcastle steadily up the table.
From twenty-five games, Howe has won eleven and lost nine, giving him a win ratio of 44%.
Last Time Out
The blues ran riot at St James’s Park against the struggling Magpies. Ruben Dias and Joao Cancel gave City a 2-0 half-time lead, before Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling added goals in the second half to secure a comfortable 4-0 victory.