Manchester City v Newcastle United Cheat Sheet
Manchester City v Newcastle United
After dropping points in a disappointing draw with Nottingham Forest, Manchester City returned to winning ways against Bournemouth with a dominant 4-1 win which they followed up with a comfortable FA Cup victory over Bristol City in midweek. Manchester City have almost a full choice of players fit from their deep and talented squad and know that with Arsenal facing Bournemouth at home this weekend, they will likely need to win here to stay within 5 points of the Gunners.
Newcastle come into this game having not won in 4 and losing the Carabao Cup final last weekend. After Spurs’ recent results Newcastle know they need to win to keep top 4 in their hands however this is possibly their toughest game of the season. Nick Pope will return in goal after his suspension and this will give some confidence to Newcastle’s back line. Up front Newcastle need to bring the energy and attacking spirit that saw them draw 3-3 at home after scoring just 1 goal in their last 3 matches.
Manchester City have failed to win at home just twice all season, when they lost to Brentford and their draw to Everton. In all competitions they have won 7 of their 10 matches, and their draw to Nottingham Forest saw them dominate but somehow not win. The mood around Manchester City is certainly improved and they are dominating matches still, they should be the dominant side again in this match.
Newcastle are in their worst form of the season, losses to Liverpool and Manchester United in their last 2 matches followed draws with lowly Bournemouth and West Ham. Newcastle have won just 1 of their last 6 matches not played at home and going away to potentially the toughest team in the league will be their toughest test yet. Although the match earlier in the season ended 3-3, with this match being at the Etihad Manchester City should be too strong for Newcastle and get the win here.
With Pep’s new 3-2-4-1 type formation, there is a lot of focus on Manchester City’s wingers to stretch the pitch which has seen Grealish see a lot more of the ball. Grealish is fouled 3.49 times per 90, the highest of any player in the league to play at least 5 matches.
Playing against Grealish is one of the hardest tasks as a Premier League full back and opposition full backs always commit fouls against him. While Bournemouth’s right backs committed no fouls against him because they played so deep; Ouattara, who started at right midfield, committed 2 fouls as he was tasked with stopping Grealish.
Leipzig’s right backs committed 3 fouls in their match against Manchester City and Serge Aurier committed 2 fouls for Forest against City. Kieran Trippier averages 1.12 fouls per 90 and has committed a foul in 8 of his last 9 matches and at least 2 fouls in 5 of these 9 matches. Against Grealish, he is excellent value to commit 2 fouls in this match at over evens.
Manchester City will look dominate possession here just like they did in the reverse fixture where they had 69% possession. This possession means Manchester City’s midfielders will see plenty of the ball and they all draw a decent number of fouls. Gundogan draws 0.86 fouls per 90, De Bruyne draws 0.92 fouls per 90 and Rico Lewis draws 1.83 fouls per 90.
Newcastle do try to press the opposition and stop them playing so Guimaraes will push up trying to win the ball back and commit fouls. Guimaraes commits 1.42 fouls per 90 and has committed a foul in all of his last 4 matches. In the reverse fixture he committed 2 fouls and he should commit a foul again here.
Manchester City concede the lowest number of corners per match of any team in the league at just 2.44 per match, but since changing to the 3-2-4-1 tactic they concede far more. In Manchester City’s last 10 matches they have conceded over 2.5 corners 7 times, only Nottingham Forest, Arsenal and Leipzig have failed to have 3 corners against them.
However, Wolves had 7 against them and even Bristol City managed 4 against them in their last match. No team has more corners per match than Newcastle, the magpies average a huge 6.91 corners per match and had 5 corners in the reverse fixture despite having just 31% possession.
In the league this season Newcastle have only failed to have at least 3 corners twice and against Manchester City and Arsenal they had 5 corners each time. Newcastle may be going to the Etihad, but they should still be good enough to win at least 3 corners in this game.
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