Are you ready for Matchday 3? No worries, we’ve got all the latest storylines to set you up for Newcastle vs Man City. Let’s get to it.
A nice write up on the key matchups, including a head-to-head look at the netminders.
Nick Pope vs Ederson
It’s not often that you mention critical matchups between goalkeepers. Still, both have started the season without conceding and Pope picking up a man-of-the-match performance in his last outing against Brighton and Hove Albion.
Signed from Burnley early in the transfer window after they were relegated, the England international was a crucial factor in almost securing their survival. They missed out after losing to his current side on the season’s final day.
Ederson has some pretty impressive statistics this season, with his pass success rate being 90.2% compared to Pope’s 48.5%.
And speaking of head-to-head, Manc Pete leads us on a look back at the history of this fixture.
This fixture is possibly one of the longest running in the history of both clubs. The first time they met in the north east was as far back as 1894, when the blues lost 2-1. Following that loss, City visited Newcastle another 15 times, drawing four and losing 11. Their first victory on Tyneside came in February 1913, followed by another win 11 months later, with both matches ending 1-0 to the blues.
City then went another 11 matches without a win, drawing just two and losing seven successive matches, ending that run with another 1-0 win in April 1931. The blues then won just four from their next 22 visits, until 1968, when City clinched the first division title with a 4-3 win. City’s next league win wouldn’t arrive until February 2001, 1-0 again, although they won an FA Cup tie in 1977 and a League Cup match in 1994.
However, City’s recent good run started in March 2007. The blues won 1-0 when Emile Mpenza’s 80th minute winner gave Stuart Pearce’s the points. Now, just one defeat in 16 visits to St James’s Park put City as firm favourites to walk away on Sunday with another three points on Sunday.
Manchester City and Newcastle have an incredibly long history. Here are some of the stats from this fixture, that stretches back well over 100 years. https://t.co/3Dj0Uc2mIf pic.twitter.com/cULsczTUbU— Bitter and Blue (@BitterandBlue1) August 20, 2022
Man City can reach a surprise feat under Pep Guardiola against Newcastle United - Simon Bajkowski - Manchester Evening News
With a result today, the Blues can would be off to their best ever three game start to the Prem season.
Winning the first three games of the campaign does not seem that extraordinary in a side that has broken a slew of records in English football, yet it is something that Pep Guardiola is not used to. In fact, he has only ever done it once before in the Premier League.
Last season of course started with an opening-day defeat to Tottenham, while the 2020/21 campaign saw a 5-2 humbling at home to Leicester City that accelerated a need to buy a defender; Ruben Dias was signed before the next game and City went on to win the league. The previous year featured an(other) agonizing draw with Tottenham in the first home game, with an injury-time winner from Gabriel Jesus controversially ruled out that time.
In 2018, City won their first two matches but were held by Premier League newcomers Wolves at Molineux in their third - ironically, the Wolves goal helped to prompt the rule change that disallowed the Jesus effort against Spurs the following season. And even in their Centurions campaign, the Blues were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Everton before needing a late, late Raheem Sterling winner at Bournemouth to avoid dropping points in two of their first three games.
The Magpies’ Pope is out to make a little history of his own.
Newcastle’s No 1 was rarely troubled during his 2-0 home debut win against Nottingham Forest, but last time out, his heroic individual display helped Eddie Howe’s side earn a goalless draw at Brighton & Hove Albion.
Newcastle were second best all afternoon, facing a total of 13 shots, six of which were regarded as 11.5 per cent opportunities or above on Opta’s Expected Goals metric.
The 30-year-old former Burnley player was in inspired form, making five superb reflex saves.
Four of those stops were from close-range efforts.
Meanwhile in Madrid, the Women’s boss gives the update ahead of Real.
City come into the tie on the back of a deserved 6-0 win over WFC Tomiris-Turan on Thursday, and the City boss was pleased to reveal that his side came through the encounter unscathed.
It means that, bar Ellen White’s being unavailable for personal reasons and Ruby Mace continuing her recovery from a summer injury at the Under-19 Euros, Taylor has a strong squad at his disposal against Las Blancas.
“I think everyone’s okay. We’ve had a [training] session in the last few hours, but everyone trained in that,” he explained.
“It’s difficult having two games in four days but the players have recovered well, there’s really good help and assistance here to help them replenish and get ready for this game.
“I think the two major things [from WFC Tomiris-Turan] were to win and to try to guarantee most came through unscathed to give us a good selection headache for this game and we’ve done that.
"I think everyone's okay. We’ve had a session in the last few hours but everyone trained in that"— Manchester City (@ManCity) August 20, 2022
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Women’s Champions League — Match Preview: Manchester City vs Real Madrid - Saul Garcia - Bitter and Blue
A huge matchup early in the tournament, and Saul breaks down what happened to City last year at the hand of Las Blancas.
Manchester City face Real Madrid in the second round of the UWCL qualifying round.
One further two-legged Round 2 qualifying fixture in September would then await in order to get through to the group stage.
Taylor’s side fell at the Round 2 stage of Champions League qualification last term, losing 2-1 over two legs to Real. A real gut punch.
This time around, City get Real a round early and could look to beat them soundly this time out. City performed really well in the midweek firs round and now in this second one will be more than motivated.
Raheem Sterling: Chelsea forward left fuming and raging by Manchester City exit - Jack Wilkinson - Sky Sports
Razza is still in his feelings after leaving for London.
In his final season at the Etihad Stadium, the 27-year-old England international featured 30 times in City’s title-winning campaign but just 23 of those were starts, leading Sterling to conclude his sacrifices were not being reciprocated.
“Everyone wants to feel wanted, football is no different,” Sterling exclusively told Geoff Shreeves ahead of Chelsea’s Super Sunday trip to Leeds United - live on Sky Sports.
“When you play your heart out, sacrifice some of your kids’ birthdays, and then get treated in a certain way, it’s disappointing.
“At the time I was fuming, raging, but it’s gone, it’s in the past and I can only focus on the present, which is now, here at Chelsea, and the opportunity I’ve got here to go out and showcase my talents once again.”
"At the time I was fuming, raging, all of that"— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) August 20, 2022
Raheem Sterling opens up on how his career ended at Manchester City and that he is now in a "happier place" at Chelsea pic.twitter.com/DHeMACPEAg
Manchester City defender provides crucial fitness update on road to recovery - Vayam Lahoti - City Xtra
Great news out of Spain as Aymeric looks to be on his way back soon.
Laporte was lauded for his commitment efforts by Manchester City fans on social media as he explained he took a blow to his knee in a 5-1 win against Wolves in May.
The four-time Premier League champion is expected to be back in contention in the near future as Guardiola’s side bid to challenge on all fronts again this season.
After falling behind Dias and Stones in the pecking order during the 2020/21 campaign, Laporte was understood to be open to leaving Manchester City and taking up a new challenge.
However, as was the case with Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva, any chances of a move materialising were hindered by the financial restraints of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Having regained his place in the starting XI last season, Laporte is believed to be happy with his game time as he embarks upon what could be another trophy-laden season at the Etihad Stadium.
Ruben Dias gives VIP treatment to cancer patients with incredible Man City gesture - Simon Bajkowski - Manchester Evening News
And finally... Ruben is out there brining smiles to faces who sure can use them. Good on ya senhor.
Ruben Dias invited patients from The Christie to enjoy Manchester City’s opening home game of the season from his private box.
The Portugal defender treated people from the Manchester hospital specialising in cancer treatment, allowing them to watch Pep Guardiola’s side in action from one of the best spots in the stadium. It is the second time that Dias has linked up with The Christie to make such a gesture, and his offer was gratefully taken up by a handful of young adults and their loved ones.
Since being diagnosed with Stage 3B ovarian cancer in May 2021, 23-year-old Phoebe Usher has had multiple surgeries including a full hysterectomy and then got sepsis while she was undergoing chemotherapy treatment at the end of last year. She has recovered since and was able to watch the game with her boyfriend.
Here we go!!! We’re all set for Newcastle v MCFC men and Real Madrid v MCWFC. As always follow along with @bitterandblue1 on twitter. Come on City!!!