Mark O’Haire’s Premier League Tips – Newcastle v Man CityStats
Newcastle v Man City
Newcastle United and Manchester City go head-to-head in a crucial Premier League clash at St James’ Park on Tuesday evening.
Newcastle v Manchester City, Tuesday 19.45, Sky Sports 1
The Magpies breathed fresh life into the fight to preserve their top-flight status with a timely 3-0 victory against Swansea City on Tyneside at the weekend and Rafael Benitez’s men will be desperate to maintain momentum when they lock horns with Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
The men from Manchester though, will make the trip north in confident mood, for City have not been beaten in any of their last five fixtures, while the Citizens boast an impressive record at St James’ Park, having come out on top in eight of their last nine trips to Tyneside in all competitions.
City recorded a stunning 3-0 win against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening; Argentine international Sergio Aguero hit a superb hat-trick against the Blues and the 27-year-old striker will be licking his lips at the prospect of lining up against the Magpies, for Aguero grabbed five goals as Pellegrini’s men piled on the agony for Newcastle in a 6-1 win at Etihad Stadium on the last occasion that these teams met.
Benitez, though, will surely draw comfort from the fact that his side has suffered defeat in just two of their last nine fixtures on home soil and, with Newcastle to hold home advantage in three of their final five league fixtures, the Magpies will retain hope that they can reel in Norwich City and Sunderland to avoid a second relegation in seven years.
However, City have scored seven goals without reply in their last two Premier League matches on the road
…and the recent return of Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne from injury has further augmented the impressive attacking options available at Pellegrini’s disposal.
A club record signing from Wolfsburg, De Bruyne has bagged a hugely impressive 15 goals for Manchester City this term – including three in his last five matches for Manuel Pellegrini’s men and there is no doubt that the 24-year-old – in tandem with Aguero – will pose a significant threat to the Magpies as they battle to beat the drop.
Away Day Blues
The visitors have often struggled to find form and fluency on their travels this term; the Citizens have picked up just seven wins from their 16 Premier League matches away from home and have scored just 20 goals – less than half of the goals tally that they have managed in 17 top-flight fixtures at Etihad Stadium.
However, City appear to have put their away-day blues behind them in recent weeks and, indeed, the men from Manchester have lost just two of their last 11 matches away from home – with one of those defeats coming when a predominantly second-string City were beaten 5-1 by Chelsea in the FA Cup back in February.
Pellegrini’s men have responded superbly to a challenge from city rivals Manchester United in the race for the final Champions League qualification spot – and the Citizens are sure to be brimming with belief after booking their place in the semi-finals of the competition for the first time with an impressive 3-2 aggregate win over Paris Saint-Germain in the quarter-finals last week.
The Magpies, too, must overcome a truly appalling record in this fixture if they are to record back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time since December – as City have picked up all three points from all but one of their last 16 top-flight tussles with the team from Tyneside.
The visitors should be backed to claim a comfortable win and the 29/20 quote offered up for Manchester City (-1) in the handicap market represents outstanding value, especially when it is considered that the selection would have landed in each of the last 10 league meetings between these two teams.
City look razor sharp in the final third of the pitch and with the visitors finally showing signs of stability at the back – they have kept a clean sheet in each of their last three Premier League matches away from home – and the selection looks to be worthy of support again ahead of Tuesday’s tussle.
Manchester City -1 (29/20)
*Prices correct at time of publication