We have to tell the truth and say we have no idea how Newcastle will fare tonight against a very good Manchester City side at the Etihad Stadium in Newcastle’s first game of what is an extremely important season.
And Newcastle have never won at the Etihad – and Manchester City have yet to taste defeat against Newcastle in the last 13 meetings.
Newcastle have had a mediocre preseason and these are the results of those games:
|Tue - 16 July KO 7:00pm||Motherwell||Fir Park||W 4-2|
|Sat - 20 July KO 6:00pm||Rio Ave||Estadio do Rio Ave||L 3-1|
|Tue - 23 July KO - 8:00pm||Pacos de Ferreira||Estadio da Capital do Movel||D 1-1|
|Sun - 28 July KO 3:00pm||Blackpool||Bloomfield Road||W 1-0|
|Tue - 30th July KO 7:30pm||St. Mirren||Love Street||W 2-0|
|Tue - 6 August, 7:45pm||Rangers||Ibrox Stadium||D 1-1|
|Sat - 10 August, KO 6:00pm||SC Braga||St. James' Park||D 1-1|
Bur pre-season form and results usually mean nothing – and Arsenal had a great pre-season, yet lost their first home game to Aston Villa on Saturday – and that was the first time they had lost their first home game since 1995.
This is what Alan Pardew about Newcastle’s lack of recent success against City:
“I don’t think there is a mental barrier. We’ve beaten all the big teams or at least taken points from them. ”
“City are the one big team we have never done well against, so it would be fantastic to bury that one as well.”
It seems that Davide Santon is indeed injured, so that Yanga-Mbiwa will get the start at left back and we’re assuming that Jonas has recovered from his leg injury – so this is the likely side for tonight’s game:
Debuchy Coloccini (c) Taylor (S) Yanga-Mbiwa
Ben Arfa Tiote Cabaye Sissoko Gutierrez
Subs: Elliot Dummett Anita Marveaux Ameobi (S) Gouffran Ameobi (Sh)
One surprise in the section by the Newcastle manager could be in goal, where it’s possible that Rob Elliot could get the start, since Tim Krul has not played too much in pre-season.
The key to the game tonight is that the Newcastle defense can play very well and not make any daft mistakes – like giving away a penalty for instance.
There’s no doubt our defense has been our big weakness over the last three seasons, and we have to do better this season – but the two French full-backs are new arrivals this year.
And we don’t have too many goalscorers at the moment, and we’ll have to rely on Papiss Cisse scoring a few goals for the Magpies, while Loic Remy is out for another three weeks or so – but Shola has looked in good form in pre-season and scored four good goals – so there’s some hope there.
And when Yohan Cabaye plays well Newcastle generally also do very well, so the French International is again a key player for Newcastle tonight, and Yohan has looked sharp again over the summer.
Any result Newcastle can get tonight, be it a draw or a win, would be great, but the very last thing we want to see is a defeat – a big defeat.
That would not be good to say the least – and it would quickly bring further levels of depression to Tyneside.
Let’s know what team you would start tonight, and also how you think we’ll fare tonight.
Comments welcome, put please keep them civil.
Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and +1 us on Google+:
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org