Newcastle United vs Manchester City Preview
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.
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.
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.
“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
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