Newcastle v Manchester City Tuesday 20:00, BT Sport 1. Match Odds: Newcastle19.00, Man City 1.22, The Draw 7.80.
Newcastle versus Manchester City is one of the most one-sided fixtures in the Premier League. City have taken 46 points from the last 48 available against Newcastle, scoring 45 goals and conceding only nine. It's difficult to see that record changing here.
Aguero likely to find the net
The man who most enjoys these meetings is, inevitably, Sergio Aguero. The extent of his dominance is startling - he's scored 14 goals in 12 games against Newcastle, including a five-goal haul. That's more than any player has scored against a single side, for one side, in the history of the Premier League. He's likely to lead the line here.
While Pep Guardiola liked regularly changing formation in his first couple of seasons at Manchester City, this season he's stuck regularly to a 4-3-3 formation. Riyad Mahrez has fallen out of favour after a good first couple of months, and often hasn't even been getting in the matchday squad. Expect Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling to start on either flank.
De Bruyne should retain his place
In midfield, Guardiola has been handed a boost with the return of Kevin De Bruyne, who hit a fantastic long-range goal against Burnley in Saturday's FA Cup victory. He'll probably come into the side alongside David Silva, with the outstanding Fernandinho continuing to impress in his deep-lying midfield role.
At the back, Vincent Kompany is expected to miss out and Nicolas Otamendi is out of favour, so John Stones and Aymeric Laporte is the natural centre-back combination. Kyle Walker will play on the right, and should have plenty of opportunities to overlap, with Fabian Delph tucking inside from the opposite flank.
5-4-1 for Newcastle
Rafael Benitez has generally played a five-man defence against big sides this season, and is likely to continue with that approach here. In defence he's without Paul Dummett, which could mean Matt Ritchie having to play as a wing-back, with DeAndre Yedlin a more option on the other flank.
Newcastle's centre-back trio of Jamaal Lascelles, Fabian Schar and Florian Lejeune are impressive individually and have a decent relationship together. They'll attempt to guard against Aguero's runs into the channels, although City remain excellent at getting the ball wide and crossing the ball into the six-yard box, particularly when Sane and Sterling move inside to provide a goal threat.
Newcastle likely to be overrun in the middle
Benitez still has something of a problem in the centre, with Jonjo Shelvey and Mo Diame both out. Isaac Hayden and Sean Longstaff will continue as a duo, but it's difficult to imagine how they'll compete against City's quality.
The counter-attacking threat is likely to come from Christian Atsu, who has looked in fine form down the left, and Ayoze Perez who will probably start from the right. Salomon Rondon will lead the line and will offer an aerial threat if Newcastle get the ball wide. Ritchie and Yedlin can overlap well, and the former is a fine crosser.
But, to be honest, it's difficult to make a case for Newcastle getting anything out of this game. Injury problems mean they won't be able to compete in midfield, and City are scoring plenty of goals at the moment. I'll back Guardiola's side to win to nil at2.00.
The Betfair Traders' View - Alan Thompson
Only Huddersfield Town (9) have lost more home Premier League games than Newcastle United (8) so far this season. They have only managed to score 10 times in league games atSt James’ Park, three of which came in one game recently against Cardiff, they were also dumped out the FA Cup at the weekend after managing to register just one shot on target on home soil and went out tamely 2-0 to a Watford side that made the full compliment of 11 changes.
City on the other hand have well and truly got the bit between their teeth since back-to-back Premier League defeats in December against Crystal Palace and Leicester. They have won all eight games in all competitions since then, scoring an incredible 33 goals and their defence has been breached just twice.
The one crumb of comfort for Newcastle fans is that they have shown some resilience when the big sides arrive, Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham all left here with three points but all three just with a one goal margin of victory (all finished 1-2), a score line that was reflected when these sides met at the Etihad earlier this season,
I can’t recall seeing Newcastle United at home priced at19.00 to win a game in any competition, The biggest price I have seen for Newcastle United at home in my database is 13.00, that was against Manchester City in 2017 (a game Newcastle lost 1-0).
The massive price for the home win has pushed the Asian Handicap market to giving Newcastle United a two goal head start and that may just be too high. Despite Newcastle’s horrific home record, only West Ham (0-3) have left here with a higher margin of victory and City have never won here by three clear goals in the Premier League era.
The prices dictate this bet and I will take a chance on Newcastle keeping City down to a single goal win by backing Newcastle +2.0 on the Asian Handicap at2.00. If City do win by two then no damage done and for the bet to lose they will have to do something they haven’t achieved since 20th October 1956 (Newcastle 0 – City 3).
Michael: Back Man City to win to nil at 2.00
Alan: Back Newcastle +2.0 on the Asian Handicap at 2.00