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Preview: Manchester City vs. Newcastle United - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Manchester City vs. Newcastle United - prediction, team news, lineups:ID:334574: from db_amp
Sports Mole provides predicted lineups, team news and a full match preview of the Premier League clash between Manchester City and Newcastle United.
By , Senior Reporter | 9mo

Manchester City head into Saturday's Premier League clash with Newcastle United looking to get back to winning ways, having been held by newly-promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend.

The Magpies make the trip to the Etihad Stadium still looking for their first victory of the season, with the Magpies playing their third "top six" side in their opening four fixtures.

Manchester City

Being held by Wolves last weekend has resulted in City missing out on maintaining their position at the top of the standings, but manager Pep Guardiola is unlikely to be too concerned by his side's failure to emerge victorious at Molineux.

The defending champions only conceded due to a goal which should not have stood while also striking the woodwork on three occasions, including through Sergio Aguero who hit a 25-yard free kick off the crossbar in the final minute of added-on time.

The result would have irked Guardiola, who demands perfection from his side each time that they take to the pitch, but it effectively took a little bit of pressure off the North-West giants at a time when they are expected to steamroller through the opposition.

Guardiola is also yet to go for consistency with his team selection, with the injury to Kevin De Bruyne serving as a warning that he may not be able to risk rushing back any players who featured at the World Cup.

Nicolas Otamendi is still awaiting his first opportunity at the back, while the likes of Kyle Walker, John Stones, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus have found themselves drafted in and out of the starting lineup.

That will likely change as the season progresses with Guardiola having more opportunities to establish a settled side for the club's important matches, whether that be in the Premier League or the Champions League.

A meeting with a struggling Newcastle side could not have been timed more perfectly for Guardiola and his squad, with the opportunity there to head into the international break having righted the wrongs of the disappointment against Wolves.

Newcastle will have other ideas about the showdown at the Etihad Stadium, but an early goal could provide the platform for a ruthless showing from the home team.

Recent form: WWD
Recent form (all competitions): WWWD

Newcastle United

While City's only concern is ensuring that they improve their conversion ratio in front of goal, Newcastle and manager Rafael Benitez must find a way to get their first win on the season on the board.

The Magpies were unfortunate not to earn anything from home fixtures with Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, and a missed penalty in the final minute at Cardiff City effectively cost the club two points which could turn out to be vital come the end of the season.

Benitez would have hope to use the EFL Cup tie at Nottingham Forest on Wednesday night as an opportunity to improve the mood at St James' Park, but a 3-1 defeat would have done little to boost the squad's confidence ahead of the current ultimate test in English football.

There has been an element of bad luck surrounding Newcastle's fortunes this season, but Benitez will be aware that only a strong showing at City will ensure that there is not a negative vibe at the club during the international break.

Frustration off the pitch regarding matters involving Mike Ashley and a perceived lack of investment are unlikely to disappear anytime soon, and it leaves Benitez having to find a way to provide some excitement off the pitch.

There is a demand for more free-flowing football to be played but like the approach which was adopted against Chelsea last weekend, Benitez will likely place focus on nullifying City on their own patch.

Several of the summer signings have started to settle into life with the North-East outfit, but their efforts have been undermined somewhat by a number of the club's established figures being unavailable over the past week.

The likes of Jamaal Lascelles and Jonjo Shelvey will be welcomed back into the fold whenever that may be, but the small consolation for Newcastle is that three of the so-called "big six" will be out of the way until the second half of the campaign by 7.30pm on Saturday evening.

Recent form: LDL
Recent form (all competitions): LDLL

Team News

Guardiola could revert to a back three for the visit of Newcastle, with Stones and Otamendi in line to return to the starting lineup.

Walker could be afforded another break ahead of spending time with England, while Guardiola has decisions to make in the final third.

At least one of Riyad Mahrez or Leroy Sane should come back into the team, but Sergio Aguero may keep his place as the main frontman.

Newcastle's starting lineup could depend on whether Lascelles and Shelvey are able to return to the team after missing the last two fixtures.

Salomon Rondon will likely get the nod over Joselu, despite the latter having come off the bench to score against Chelsea last weekend.

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Stones, Otamendi, Laporte; B.Silva, Fernandinho, Gundogan, Mendy; Sane, Mahrez, Aguero

Newcastle United possible starting lineup:
Dubravka; Yedlin, Clark, Fernandez, Schar, Dummett; Murphy, Diame, Ki, Ritchie; Rondon

Head To Head

Saturday's fixture represents the 178th competitive meeting between the two clubs, with Newcastle claiming 71 wins in comparison to 67 triumphs for Man City.

However, City have dominated this fixture over the past 12 years, with Newcastle having only registered one success in 23 attempts.

City have also won 14 of the last 15 league encounters between the sides, with the only draw coming at St James' Park in April 2016.

We say: Manchester City 4-0 Newcastle United

This was not the match that Newcastle would have been hoping for after four outings without a win. The form and the statistics point to a convincing victory for the home side, who may not have to get out of second gear.

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