Kevin De Bruyne is set to return to Premier League action as Manchester City travel to St James’ Park to face Newcastle this weekend.
Both teams will be looking to build on convincing wins in the FA Cup Third Round last weekend, as the Citizens hammered Huddersfield 5-0 and Newcastle beat Sunderland 3-0 in the first Tyne-Wear derby since 2016
Here’s everything you need to know about this Saturday’s clash.
Match Preview – Newcastle vs Manchester City:
Eddie Howe relieved some of the pressure on his shoulders with an emphatic victory against arch-rivals Sunderland at the Stadium of Light last time out.
Before the game, the Magpies were on a run of seven losses in eight games, including defeats in their past three Premier League encounters, which has seen the top-four hopefuls drop to ninth.
The North-East outfit rank bottom of the league’s form table over the last six matches with a 3-0 win over 10-man Fulham their only points since the start of December.
Despite setbacks over the last month, Swedish forward Alexander Isak has started to pick up form in front of goal.
Alex Isak wraps it up. 😎🇸🇪 pic.twitter.com/O1v7KD3ENV
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) January 7, 2024
The 24-year-old has scored four goals in his last three games following a brace at Sunderland and strikes against Nottingham Forest and Liverpool.
Only six players have scored more Premier League goals this season than the former Real Sociedad man, who is tied on nine with Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins.
Newcastle’s injury woes continued last weekend as Joelinton was forced off with a thigh problem. The Brazilian joins Nick Pope, Callum Wilson, Harvey Barnes, Joe Willock, Elliot Anderson, Matt Targett and Jacob Murphy on the sidelines.
Manchester City: WWWWW
Compared to their outrageously high standards, it’s been a pretty average first half of the season for Pep Guardiola’s team, as they sit third, five points behind Liverpool with a game in hand.
The treble winners are unbeaten in eight matches in all competitions, winning seven, including two in the Club World Cup which saw them crowned World Champions for the first time.
Last season’s Champions League winners were comfortable victors in the FA Cup against Huddersfield, as Kevin De Bruyne picked up an assist in his first appearance since the first game of the season.
The 32-year-old playmaker, who had spent five months out injured, came off the bench with half an hour left on the clock and set up fellow Belgian Jeremy Doku for his side’s fifth goal.
In De Bruyne’s absence, Phil Foden has taken some of the creative responsibility in the City midfield.
Some belters in here! 💫
— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 9, 2024
The Englishman followed up a goal in a man-of-the-match performance against Everton with a brace of assists against Sheffield United, before scoring twice against Huddersfield.
Erling Haaland, John Stones and Bernardo Silva have been ruled out of the clash.
Newcastle 1-0 Manchester City, September 27th, 2023
The two teams have already met twice this season, with Manchester City winning the first meeting in August, but Eddie Howe’s men got their revenge a month later when an Alexander Isak goal was enough to secure a 1-0 win in the EFL Cup Third Round.
City were without Rodri, who began a three game suspension following a red card against Nottingham Forest, while Erling Haaland was rested for the fixture.
The only goal of the game came just after half time, when Joelinton fizzed a ball across goal and it fell to Isak at the back post, who made no mistake with the finish.
Guardiola’s men were dominant throughout, but failed to convert any of their chances and crashed out of the competition.
The Magpies beat Manchester United in the next round but bowed out on penalties at the quarter-final stage to Chelsea.
Newcastle: Dubravka; Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn; Longstaff, Guimaraes, Miley; Almiron, Isak, Gordon.
Manchester City: Ederson; Walker, Dias, Ake, Gvardiol; Rodri, Kovacic, De Bruyne; Foden, Alvarez, Doku.
Who is the referee?
Is Newcastle vs Manchester City on TV?
UK and Ireland: TNT Sports.
What time is kick-off?
Saturday 13th January, 17:30 GMT.
Newcastle – 17/4
Draw – 10/3
Manchester City – 4/7