Newcastle United v Manchester City - Match Preview, Stats & Team News

To be played on Sunday 12th January 2014 at 14:05. Venue: St. James' Park, Newcastle.

Odds: Newcastle United 9/2, Draw 3/1, Manchester City 7/10

Last season: 0-2

Preview & injury news

Newcastle may have had a strong start to the season and probably fancy their chances of having a shot at qualifying for the Champions League this season given they're six points off fourth place but they're going to have their work cut out this weekend against high flying Manchester City. Newcastle have lost their last two league games and have been knocked out of the FA Cup, so they will have wanted to enter this game with a bit more form.

City are second in the table and are on a very good run as their title challenge is taking shape. They're one point behind Arsenal having won eight of their last nine league games, as well as hammering West Ham United 6-0 in the League Cup semi-final first leg in midweek. Newcastle may get their opportunities against City, but the visitors will have every confidence of outscoring their opponents if they have to.

In terms of injuries, Newcastle are sweating on the fitness of two key players. Midfielder Yohan Cabaye is a doubt with a calf problem but there is still a chance he could line up against City, whilst goalkeeper Tim Krul should be able to play after a shoulder injury. Centre back Fabio Coloccini is out until next month with a knee ligament injury whilst Ryan Taylor continues his recovery from anterior cruciate ligament injury.

For City, Jesus Navas should return to the side after missing the last couple of games with a knee injury. Yaya Toure was substituted in the League Cup win against West Ham United after picking up an ankle injury earlier on in the game but should play whilst Micah Richards could be available for selection again after a hamstring injury. Sergio Aguero could be another week away from being considered for selection as he continues to recover from a calf problem, whilst Stevan Jovetic could return to the squad next week after a hamstring complaint. Jack Rodwell and John Guidetti are unavailable because of hamstring and knee injuries respectively.

Key stats

Loic Remy is Newcastle United's top scorer in the league this season with 10 goals.

Sergio Aguero is Manchester City's top scorer in the league this season with 13 goals.

Newcastle United had 54% possession in their last league match, a 1-0 away loss to West Bromwich Albion.

Manchester City had 48% possession in their last league match, a 3-2 away win against Swansea City.

5 players to watch

Loic Remy - Newcastle's top scorer in the league this season is likely to be a threat to the City back line. On loan from QPR, their manager Harry Redknapp has said that he could be worth up to £16m. That valuation is only going to rise if the Frenchman gets in amongst the goals this weekend. 

Fernandinho - Whilst it is hard to escape from the shadow of Yaya Toure, Fernandinho has certainly been doing his best to get the better of his central midfield partner in recent weeks. He is now becoming even more of a goal threat, as well as an energetic and commanding presence in the middle of the park.

Moussa Sissoko - Against a side that has one of the most powerful midfield line-ups in the country. How do you combat that? Well, a lot of energy and determination will be a good start, and that's what Sissoko does. He might have even more responsibility if Yohan Cabaye isn't fit in time. 

Edin Dzeko - Another two goals in midweek for Dzeko, as strike partner Alvaro Negredo got three for himself. Though he is in fine form, his place is under threat with Sergio Aguero nearing fitness, and the Bosnian is likely to miss out, so he will want to prove to Manuel Pellegrini he is worthy of his place in the starting line-up, even when City's top scorer returns.

Hatem Ben Arfa - Tricky, quick and a good eye for goal. Ben Arfa is just the type of player who Newcastle need to be firing on all cylinders if they are to overcome Manchester City, and one the visitors will be eager to keep quiet.

Earlier on in the season

Manchester City 4-0 Newcastle United, August 2013

The game was clouded over the uncertainty surrounding the future of Yohan Cabaye for Alan Pardew's men as City blew Newcastle away in their first competitive game under Manuel Pellegrini. David Silva put the home side ahead after getting on the end of Edin Dzeko's cross before Sergio Aguero finished off a wonderful counter-attacking move to double City's advantage. Yaya Toure got the third after the break with a well taken free-kick whilst Sami Nasri rounded off the scoring 15 minutes from time. 

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