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Newcastle United vs Manchester City Preview

The Boot Room

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Newcastle United face Manchester City in the opening weekend of the Premier League, in what should be a fairly simple afternoon’s work for the defending champions. Can The Magpies spring a surprise and take points off them?
Last Season’s Results

Manchester City kicks off their title defense by facing Newcastle on Sunday at St. James’ Park. The match up was not kind to the Toons last year, as City beat them three times across all competitions, and did not concede a single goal. This was highlighted by a 4-0 onslaught to start the season, as well as a 2-0 win that booted Newcastle from the League Cup. However in their last meeting of the season Newcastle pushed the City defense almost to the breaking point, and it wasn’t until Alvaro Negredo’s 90th minute goal that a  2-0 victory was certain.

Key Players

But the summer transfer window was kind to Newcastle, and Alan Pardew’s side has been retooled with an assortment of attacking players that he hopes will be able to push the Toons back into the top 5. At the head of the new class are Siem De Jong and French attackers Remy Cabella and Emmanuel Riviere. The threesome will look to replace Loic Remy and Cabaye who led Newcastle to being within 3 points of the top-four before their January implosion.

Regardless of the new additions, Newcastle has the grim task of welcoming the defending champions at home. Man City will field a relatively unchanged starting 11 from their final game of last season; however in form striker Stevan Jovetic looks to replace the doubtful Sergio Aguero, pairing upfront with Edin Dzeko. Newcomer Fernando from FC Porto is expected to make his Premier League debut at defensive mid as well.

Match-up to Watch

The key match up of this game is going to be Newcastle’s defense vs the attacking threat of City. The Citizens are coming off an embarrassing performance in the Community Shield against Arsenal, which saw them get shut out 3-0 and will be looking to start the season off with a bang. Newcastle has shown in recent match ups that they do not have an answer for the plethora of attacking players that City have at their disposal. Coloccini and company will need an inspiring performance or this is slotted to be a very long day for Newcastle along the river Tyne.

Lineups

Newcastle United

Newcastle United - Football tactics and formationsAt the time of writing, Toité and De Jong are both nursing knocks but hope to be fit in time for kick-off.

Manchester City

Manchester City - Football tactics and formations

The following are all doubtful either due to injuries or a late return from World Cup duty: Sergio Aguero, Martin Demichelis, Vincent Kompany, Frank Lampard, Bacary Sagna, Pablo Zabaleta.

Prediction:

“Yawn Yawn” Toure awakens from his sleepy summer slumber for a brace, Jovetic adds a third, David Silva reminds the league that being a member of the Spanish national team isn’t a bad thing, and Cabella steals one back late without messing up his fancy hairdo.

Manchester City 4 – 1 Newcastle United

 

Croatia

Everton’s reported move for Croatia defender Domagoj Vida would seriously improve defence

The Croatia international would bolster Marco Silva’s options significantly.

Jamie Watts

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The world’s eyes were on Croatia last night, as Zlatko Dalic’s side dismantled Argentina 3-0. And a number of high-profile targets for Premier League clubs were in action. However, it appears Everton have identified a potential target that isn’t one of the household names, in Domagoj Vida, according to reports from Turkish outlet SABAH.

The defender currently plies his trade for Turkish giants Besiktas, having joined from Dynamo Kiev on a free transfer in January. But the 30-year-old has struggled to nail down a regular starting place at Vodafone Park. And Marco Silva could now swoop for his services, as he looks to bolster his defensive options ahead of his first season in-charge at Goodison Park.

The defender’s performance last night suggests he could be a serious coup for Silva if a deal can be completed. Vida partnered Liverpool regular Dejan Lovren at centre-back and managed to keep a star-studded Argentina attack; including the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala quiet for the duration of the game.

Photo: Getty Images

His aggression and determination was evident for all to see, as a string of last-ditch blocks and slide tackles rounded off a brilliant display for Croatia, as they secured a clean-sheet. And the dogged attitude the player showed last night, is what was largely missing from Everton’s rear-guard last term.

Ashley Williams and Phil Jagielka are coming to the latter stages of their careers with the Blues, and with the departure of Ramiro Funes Mori yesterday (BBC Sport), a deal for Vida would make perfect sense on Merseyside this summer.

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Croatia

Liverpool fans want Ivan Rakitic following brilliant performance against Argentina

Liverpool fans want yet another top midfielder at the club this summer.

Jamie Watts

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Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic was nothing short of sensational last night in Croatia’s 3-0 dismantling of Argentina, and Liverpool fans have taken to social media to commend the midfielder, with many asserting that Jurgen Klopp should sign him this summer.

Luka Modric was in his usual scintillating form in the centre of the park, but Rakitic was equally as good, and the two essentially ran the game for the whole duration, as Argentina scratched their heads for a way to get into the game.

Photo: Getty Images

The 30-year-old rounded off a truly dominant display by slotting home into an empty net from close range, after Mateo Kovacic unselfishly played him in, but it was nothing less than Rakatic’s performance deserved on the night.

Reds fans, having already secured the high-profile signings of Naby Keita and Fabinho, took to Twitter to suggest that the club should complete a hat-trick of midfield acquisitions this summer and bring the £60 million rated man to Anfield.

Here’s the reaction:

It has to be said that the logistics of completing a deal for the Barcelona man, who was ever-present in the side last season, make any serious movement unlikely on Liverpool’s front. But many are starting to regret the club’s decision to turn their nose up at the prospect of signing him, in a make-weight deal for Philippe Coutinho last summer.

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Croatia

Tottenham’s interest in Croatia trio justified after sensational team performance against Argentina

Tottenham fans will have heard a few familiar names last night.

Jamie Watts

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Croatia heaped further misery on Argentina’s already shaky World Cup opening last night, dismantling them 3-0, and taking the top spot of Group D in the process. And Tottenham fans will have been particularly interested in the clash.

Not only was former fan-favourite Luka Modric in his usual scintillating form, but a trio of closely linked players were deployed on the night, and all three put in exceptional performances.

Ivan Perisic put in a typically tireless display last night, alternating between all three-front roles at times, while showing maturity in his decision making and genuine quality in his end product after marauding runs down both flanks. And Pochettino will have taken notice, as his side were reportedly interested in bringing the 29-year-old to north London last month, according to Calcio Mercato.

Photo: Getty Images

On top of that, the Spurs-linked midfield duo also performed brilliantly when called upon. Marcelo Brozovic (Calcio Mercato) – also of Inter Milan – showed his ability to steady the ship in defensive midfield, in what was a frantic game at times, sparking counter attacks with his vision and cultured weight of pass, whilst keeping the shackles on Lionel Messi.

And Mateo Kovacic (AS), rounded off a dogged team performance with a few moments brilliance. Upon arriving into the game in the closing stages, he used his exceptional dribbling and balance to trouble a weary Argentina back-line, before showing an extremely cool head to pick out Rakitic under-pressure in the box for his outfit’s third goal.

Photo: Getty Images

All three put in performances worthy of top level clubs, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Pochettino elevate his interest in all three after last night.

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