Manchester City are huge favorites today to beat Newcastle, and we have so far lost three of our first four games, and one to Nottingham Forest in the League Cup last Wednesday.
We have also been beaten by two top six sides – Tottenham and Chelsea by the same score of 2-1.
After today’s game there is the two-week International break, and then we play Arsenal at home.
So in our first five league games, we play four top-six teams – and that makes it very difficult to pick up points.
It didn’t help that we missed a penalty in the last minute at Cardiff.
Otherwise, we could have had 3 points from our three league games and not just a single point.
Rafa Benitez in training – we can get a result today
But that’s all water under the Tyne Bridge now, and we can do nothing about it – we have to look forward.
Rafa still thinks we can get something at the Etihad today, but we have to play like we did against Chelsea with some improvements
This is some of what Rafa has said as reported in the Chronicle today:
“What I will say to you is what I said to my players.” “We can get the result if we do the right things.”
“If we are as good as we were at the Chelsea game defensively, and we improve our transition between defense and attack – we have a chance.”
“Is it easy? No, if it was we’d do it more frequently.” “It’s not easy but we are working on it.”
“They’re a good team and they have spent money again this summer, so that will be tough.”
“You could see Huddersfield went there and were aggressive and lost 6-1.”
“So you can be very attacking and offensive and lose or you can be defensive and lose.”
“We will try to find a balance.”
“You are always disappointed to lose games whoever it’s against.”
“But it was important to see Rondon, Muto, Schar, Sterry, and Longstaff get game-time.”
“We had players involved and that means they have minutes under their belts.”
“That is good for the competition for the team.
“With the international break coming up you don’t know if it will be good or bad.
“It may give us some time to recover players that are injured at the moment.
“The competition has now improved because of the Forest game and we will keep the competition going in training.”
“It will be good for the team.”
Benitez doesn’t want to go the way pundits want us to play – and give it a go.
That only pits us against City’s strength and when Huddersfield did that they were taken apart 6-1.
The best we can hope for is to play well defensively and frustrate City.
And then maybe they could score an own goal for us late in the game, and we win 1-0.
That would work.
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