Heading into the encounter at the St. James’ Stadium in Newcastle on 21st August, Manchester City will have nothing on their minds except to continue with their perfect start to the Premier League 2022/23 season when they face Newcastle United.
Pep Guardiola’s side couldn’t have asked for a better start to begin their domestic league title defence as they secured impressive and consecutive wins over West Ham and Bournemouth. Meanwhile, the hosts also haven’t been defeated after two matches already at the initial stages of the season.
Newcastle United fans have plenty of reasons to be excited about, especially heading into their first full season while being led by new manager Eddie Howe. Newcastle, following the dramatic takeover of Saudi Arabia last season, managed to escape the relegation battle and make a considerable push during the second half which saw them eventually finishing 11th in the table. The signs are quite encouraging following Howe’s appointment last November and it goes without saying that they will be hoping to improve on last season’s performances.
While Newcastle haven’t gone around splashing money at just about every big player in the transfer market like everyone had predicted following their lucrative takeover, the club has seen the arrival of goalkeeper Nick Pope and centre-back Sven Botman arrive from Burnley and Lille respectively. Matt Targett’s loan has also been made permanent.
The Magpies started their Premier League season with a home encounter with newly-promoted Nottingham Forest and came out on the other side with all three points in the bag. While the first half was goalless, the second half burst into action with Fabian Schar breaking the deadlock with a superb long-range effort from distance. Callum Wilson then sealed the fate of the match with the second goal of the match 12 minutes before the end of regular time.
The Magpies then made the trip to Brighton to take on the Seagulls last weekend. That encounter proved to be a more sobering affair as they had to return home with only a point after a goalless draw for which they have to thank goalkeeper Nick Pope for his heroics in between the sticks.
Despite the momentary disappointment of the draw with Brighton, Howe still has plenty of positives to take from Newcastle’s performances so far. For starters, the Magpies are yet to let in a goal after two games and they have won eight of their last nine league matches at home in a record spanning back to February.
It goes without saying that both those records would be tested to the ultimately limit when the defending English champions come to town looking for three points to make it three wins in three matches.
Although Manchester City’s season got off to an ignominious start after losing 3-1 to Liverpool in the Community Shield, Pep Guardiola’s side have more than made up for it with a tremendous beginning to their league campaign as they are looking to win the Premier League for the third season in a row and add a fifth title in their last six seasons. No side has been quite as dominant as City in the modern history of the Premier League since the bygone Sir Alex Ferguson era at Manchester United.
On the trip to West Ham in London on the opening day, new summer signing Erling Braut Haaland opened his Premier League account with a goal from the penalty spot in the 35th minute to put City into the lead of the contest. He then went on to grab a brace for himself and get the insurance foal for City in the second half to ensure all three points went back home with them to Manchester.
In their second encounter of the league campaign, City hosted newly-promoted AFC Bournemouth at the Etihad Stadium last weekend. Ilkay Gundogan, who had raised the roof off Etihad with the late brace of goals that secured the Premier League title on the final matchday against Aston Villa last season, began proceedings here as well with a goal inside 20 minutes.
Midfield partner Kevin De Bruyne soon joined the party after scoring the second at the 30-minute mark while Phil Foden put the finishing touches to a brilliant first-half performance with the third goals just six minutes after. City didn’t need to push as much in the second half of the contest thanks to their brilliant efforts in the preceding 45 minutes. Jefferson Lerma’s own goal in the second half put Bournemouth out of their misery and confirmed another dominant 4-0 victory at home for Guardiola’s side.
Only Manchester City and Arsenal have made a perfect start to the Premier League season having won both their opening matches and sitting on top of the table with six points each. Guardiola would love to put some distance between him and the team managed by his former assistant Mikel Arteta with a third consecutive victory against Newcastle United at the St. James’ Stadium while Arsenal face City’s previous victims Bournemouth away from home.
NEW vs MCI, Premier League 2022/23
Date: 21st August, 2022
Time: 9:00 PM IST
Venue: St. James’ Park, Newcastle
Newcastle United Premier League form:
Manchester City Premier League form:
Newcastle United wins: 72
Manchester City wins: 74
Newcastle United Team News:
Long-time servant ofNewcastle United Jonjo Shelvey is out of contention as far as this premier clash is concerned because of injury. Meanwhile, the fitness of various players like Matt Targett, Ryan Fraser, and Emil Krafth will also have to be assessed before the match and Eddie Howe will make the final call regarding their probable selections.
Summer signing Sven Botman will be expected to partner Fabian Schar at the heart of the back line. If Targett isn’t fit enough to make it to the starting XI, Dan Burn might take his place at left-back tomorrow.
Bruno Guimaraes and Joelinton remain as important as ever as far as the Newcastle midfield is concerned while Joe Willock and Callum Wilson should continue upfront, relegating Chris Wood to the bench instead.
Manchester City Team News:
Pep Guardiola will once again be without the services of Spanish centre-back Aymeric Laporte due to injury. As a result, Nathan Ake should probably hold on to his starting position along with Ruben Dias unless John Stones has another say on the matter at St. James’ Park.
Rodri and Ilkay Gundogan have started in midfield alongside usual suspect Kevin De Bruyne in midfield for both the opening matches so far. Surprisingly, Bernardo Silva has assumed a place on the bench as talks about his transfer to Barcelona rage on.
The Citizens might be tempted into making changes to their attacking options as Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva will all be battling to occupy a spot on either flank and with Haaland dominating and leading the frontline through the middle.
Newcastle United possible starting lineup:
Pope; Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn; Almiron, Joelinton, Guimaraes, Willock, Saint-Maximin; Wilson
Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Dias, Ake, Cancelo; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan; Mahrez, Haaland, Foden
Newcastle United have been quite excellent at home since the start of 2022. They have won eight of their last nine Premier League matches at home, a record that stretches back to February. Their unbeaten and positive start to the season will also ensure that Eddie Howe’s side aren’t short of confidence.
However, as most fans in England are well aware by this point, a fixture against Manchester City represents the most tricky and difficult challenge on the domestic schedule. Despite their additions during the summer, Newcastle United still do not have the quality across all departments to go neck-to-neck with Manchester City.
The Citizens should also pick up from where things were left off last season and dominate proceedings throughout the contest. They have enough players to create chances and the likes of Haaland and Foden only need to put a couple away to secure yet another marvellous victory.