Writer: Gavin Cooper
Date:Sunday October 19 2008
St James' Park
20th October 2008
After losing their last two league games City need to get their season back on track. They travel up to the north east where they have won in the last two seasons.
Mark Hughes talks about bringing some consistency to the team: "We`re not there yet. On our day we can give anyone a game because of the attacking and technical ability that we have in the side, but if we are going to be considered a challenge to the top four clubs then we have to win on a consistent basis.
"We have not got that capacity at this moment in time, but we`re working on that in as much as we need to put a run of wins on the trot together. We have not been able to do that but I think we are building in the right way.
"I think everyone here is very positive about the quality of football we are producing, but what we have to make sure we can create chances, score goals, not concede and see games out to their conclusion. We need to take something out of every game that we play, that`s a prerequisite because of the focus that we are under. We understand that, and we are working hard to that end."
Newcastle will be without Michael Owen. The 28-year-old striker could be out for up to 10 days with a groin strain, although a scan has at least shown there is no tear.
Habib Beye (Achilles) and Jonas Gutierrez (fractured collarbone) could return from their injuries, while Obafemi Martins (knee) is rated at 50-50.
Former City Midfielder Joey Barton will complete his six-match FA ban, while Mark Viduka (Achilles) and Alan Smith (stress fracture) remain on the long-term casualty list.
The irish winger has many tricks up his sleeve when he is on his game.
Manchester City will be without winger Martin Petrov for Monday's match at Newcastle United after the Bulgarian sustained knee ligament damage on international duty.
City will also be without defender Pablo Zabaleta at St James' Park as he begins a three-match suspension after being sent off in the defeat by Liverpool.
Manager Mark Hughes expects Robinho to be available for the Barclays Premier League fixture despite the Brazilian being substituted after taking a knock in his country's international against Colombia.
If he plays he can be a real threat to any team as any defender does not know whether to go tight on him or give yourself room.
Manchester City have won their last three Premier League matches against Newcastle and have only conceded one goal in their last five against them.
City are also trying to register three successive league wins at St James' Park for the first time in their history.
City's recent form against Newcastle is in contrast to the form shown in the early premiership years and in the distant past when Newcastle regularly beat City; but times have changed.
Rob Styles - to call this man any explitive names you might chose is an insult to any other person that might fall into that category. Certainly tomorrow Newcastle will be playing with at least one extra man.
Despite that unfair advantage I still expect City to have too much for Newcastle to cope with. NUFC 1 - 2 MCFC.
Stoke City at home in the premiership on Sunday 26th October with a 3pm kick off.
Date:Sunday October 19 2008
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