The first Premier League outing of the weekend, and it’s one of the highest profile ones. Second vs fifth and the result could well have a huge effect on whether each team achieves their goals this season. A loss for City could see them 8 points adrift of the summit by the end of the day, while Newcastle will hope to close the 4 point gap to the top 4 with their 2 games in hand.
If you’re planning on placing a bet builder for the game, I’d suggest taking a read through this pack. It provides a breakdown of all the stats from their Premier League campaigns so far so you can delve into the bookies markets with confidence. Take a look at my Stats Pack Guide if you haven’t already to assist you in your selections.
Who does Pep Guardiola start on the left hand side, Jack Grealish or Phil Foden? Your guess is as good as mine. Both players have been great recently, with Grealish adding more end product to his game this season, yet Foden scored a brace at Bristol City during the week.
With all that said, there’s a good chance that both play as they did at Bournemouth during their last Premier League outing. Grealish on the left, and Foden on the right.
You’d fancy Kevin De Bruyne to come back into the fold having overcome a recent short illness and playing a big role in City’s win in the FA Cup midweek.
Newcastle come into this one on the back of their heartbreak at Wembley in the League Cup final.
The good news for them is that the ever-reliable Nick Pope should return between the sticks having disappointingly missed the final through suspension. In front of him, the back four picks itself with Trippier, Schar, Botman and Burn.
The striker position seems to be a tossup, it could be either Callum Wilson or Alexander Isak. Something that’s worth keeping in mind if you’re placing any pre-match bets.
Man City have a large shots output and they’re averaging more shots per game than every other Premier League side. They’re scoring 2.56 goals per 90 minutes and it’ll be interesting to see how they do against the league’s meanest defence.
It was a 3-3 thriller when Man City and Newcastle met, so three of the 15 Premier League goals Newcastle have conceded belong to City.
City average a lot of corners per game, and those numbers rise even further when they play at home. They’re currently averaging 7.83 corners taken per match at the Etihad in the league. Cards against City are quite high, so it could be worth a look at the usual Newcastle culprits.
Newcastle have had some incredible defensive showings this season and their 0.65 goals conceded P/90 is very impressive. As you can see it’s also well below their goals expected against per 90 minutes.
The Magpies are also good for corners, so it wouldn’t be unwise to expect a high match corner count at the Etihad on Saturday afternoon. There were ten taken (five each) when the two sides met in the reverse fixture back in August.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
I doubt it comes as a surprise to see who tops the charts for shooting when it comes to Man City. Just the 3.67 shots P/90 for Erling Haaland whilst producing an impressive 49.3% rate of accuracy.
One player who doesn’t make the list, and I think is worth a mention, is midfielder Rodri who always represents good value. For instance, he’s 1.25 to have a single shot against Newcastle, despite averaging 1.71 shots P/90 and having had at least one shot in each of his last nine appearances in all competitions.
Isak and Wilson lead the way for Newcastle shots, so whichever of them gets the nod to start on Saturday, will likely be good value. Wilson scored and had two shots on target during the first meeting between the two.
Player Goals and Assists
Erling Haaland’s goal tally sits at 27 goals in 24 appearances and he’s on his way to finishing the season with a record-breaking number. He’s more than capable of scored a brace or a hat-trick in any game, never mind a single goal.
Phil Foden comes into this game having scored three goals across his last couple of appearances and that might be enough to earn a start. Kevin De Bruyne is into double figures for assists already, so he may be good value for something creative.
While Newcastle have been amazing defensively, and they’ve done incredibly well to achieve their current position of 5th, a lack of goals can be a concern. To paint a picture, they’ve scored 35 league goals which is fewer than Leicester who are down in 14th.
Newcastle have relied on goals from Miguel Almiron and Callum Wilson, a pair who’ve produced half of the team’s goals, and once they dry up it’s an issue.
Man City are averaging two thirds of possession per match in the Premier League, and there’s some obvious standout picks for passes.
Rodri, who sees a large amount of the ball from his role in midfield, and then centre halves in the likes of Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake who often find themselves starting attacks and distributing the ball from the back.
Newcastle are similar in the sense that it’ll be their recognisable defensive players who rack up the most passes.
I’d take their numbers with a pinch of salt for this fixture though, as their share of the ball will likely drop. In the last meeting, Newcastle had just 31% of possession compared to Man City’s 69%, and that was when they were at home.
Man City Cards
Man City aren’t the best side for cards, in fact they have the best discipline in the Premier League along with West Ham, having only picked up 29 yellow cards so far.
If you are to be tempted by a City booking, then Rodri is the most-likely with his 1.44 fouls P/90 stat and the man relied upon to stop any counter attacks. Bernardo Silva could be a shout though, as he’s shown vulnerabilities in the left-sided role he’s played in recently.
Bruno Guimaraes has had a minor ankle issue and hopefully he’s passed fit ahead of this weekend. If so, then he’s someone who could draw fouls, especially in a midfield battle with Rodri. The Brazilian’s 2.71 fouled P/90 stat is certainly eye-catching.
The likes of Wilson, Almiron and Saint-Maximin all have pace, so they could quite easily cause their respective opponents some issues.
Match-Ups to watch
Rodri vs Bruno Guimaraes
Bernardo Silva vs Miguel Almiron
Manuel Akanji vs Callum Wilson/Allan Saint-Maximin
Newcastle are mid-table for their discipline, but they do have several great candidates for bookings. For example, Joelinton, nine cards in 21 appearances whilst also having an average of 1.89 fouls P/90.
Kieran Trippier is up there, and could face a long battle with either of his England teammates Jack Grealish or Phil Foden. Bruno Guimaraes’ 1.42 fouls P/90 is enough to perk anyone’s interest also.
Jack Grealish loves to dribble, and he loves to draw fouls. Something that he literally does for a living. No matter which full-back Grealish comes up against, you take them into consideration for fouls and/or a booking. Even if their own personal stats aren’t that amazing.
If it’s Riyad Mahrez or Phil Foden to start on the right hand side, then it’s safe to say that they’ll cause Dan Burn some issues during the game, as impressive as he’s been this season.
Match-Ups to watch
Kieran Trippier vs Jack Grealish
Joelinton vs Kevin De Bruyne
Dan Burn vs Phil Foden/Riyad Mahrez
My Bet Builder Picks of the Pack
Here’s a few bet builder picks I liked the look of from the stats pack above. You can take a look and load them into your bet slip here:
Man City vs Newcastle
Man City have caught Newcastle at the perfect time here. The Geordies come into the weekend on the back of a heart-breaking loss at Wembley, as well as some poor form in the Premier League.
Poor form might be a harsh way of wording it, however they’ve won just one of their last seven in the league. With that said, they’re just drawing a lot of matches and have also lost just once in that period.
The issue for Newcastle is that the goals have dried up. They’ve scored just three goals across their last seven, and it’s down to the fact that Almiron and Wilson have lost their shooting boots. They’ve been relying far too heavily on the pair.
With Newcastle struggling to score, and Man City scoring for fun (2.56 P/90) then there should only be one winner if that theme continues.
Man City have won five of their last seven matches in the Premier League, and they’ve won a huge 14 of their last 16 at home.
There’s value in corners in this game as both sides take a large number.
Man City matches average 8.96 corners per match but the vast majority being taken by themselves. 6.52 to be exact.
As for Newcastle, their matches in the Premier League average 11.21 corners with a large 6.91 being taken by themselves.
With hefty corner takers Man City and Newcastle coming together, you’d image that they’d take nine or more between them. They last met at St James’ Park back in August in a match where both sides took five each.
A Rodri shot is cracking value for a bet builder, let me tell you.
Rodri is averaging 1.71 shots per 90 minutes which is more than Jack Grealish just to give it some perspective. And impressively, Rodri has had at least one shot in each of his last nine appearances.
He’s had two or more in five of his last six if you’re feeling adventurous. And it’s not out of the realms of possibility either, he had four shots at St James’ Park when City last faced Newcastle in the Premier League.
2+ fouls from Kieran Trippier is a price that I cannot leave on the shelf. His fouls P/90 stat doesn’t quite reach the 2+ mark, but he’s up against opponents who’ll have him at risk of committing a foul for the full 90 minutes.
He’ll be up against England teammate Jack Grealish who’s averaging a large 4.23 dribbles per 90 minutes with those resulting in a whopping 3.49 fouls drawn P/90. And if it’s not Grealish, it should be another international teammates in Phil Foden who’s good at the same things.
Kieran Tripper has committed two or more fouls in five of his last nine appearances in all competitions. He gave away a couple of fouls in the League Cup final last weekend and he committed one foul and got booked when Newcastle last faced City.