Newcastle United versus Manchester City at the St. James’ Park is now a game the Magpies can not risk losing if the intention this season is to retain a spot in Europe.
Of all the teams whose form this season has taken a dip due to fitness issues to its key players, it is Newcastle United who so far have 9 players missing due to injuries and 1 due to suspension.
Ahead of the visit of the Cityzens, the Magpies currently sit 10th, eleven points off the top 4 and 5 points off the European places, in contrast to a Pep Guardiola side that currently sits second in the table and would be looking to improve its chances at a 4th consecutive premier league title, and after this game, get themselves closer to Liverpool.
Newcastle United so far, for a side who challenged the traditional top 4 teams for a chance to be in the Champions League this season, now stand a shadow of the team whose form last season was seen as a threat to the top sides.
Currently, they sit without a win in their last 3 premier league games, all of which were defeats to Luton Town, Nottingham Forest and a humiliating 4-2 defeat to Liverpool who on the day should have won by a larger margin.
Thus, this raises a lot of eyebrows as a team touted to be the new side to threaten the hegemony of the traditional top 4 of Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, like Manchester City did a few decades back, has in a couple of months now dropped back to midtable level.
Of course, arguments can be made for the injuries and suspensions to the team’s set up, which by far and large has its consequences to a team’s performance in the season. However, if Newcastle United still has its hopes on regaining its fear factor, and in turn a place in Europe next season, beating Manchester City at St. James’ Park stands the only outcome.
A defeat to the Cityzens, leaves Eddie Howe’s team with 4 consecutive premier league defeats, a record that not only threatens Newcastle’s goals but also Eddie Howe’s job at the St. James Park.
NEWCASTLE UNITED CONFIRMED LINEUP:
Manchester City Confirmed Lineup:
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