Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Friday December 14 2012
Saint James Park
Opportunity knocks for a crestfallen City squad to bounce back from derby defeat by beating a Newcastle side mired in a wretched run of results...
'We are having a tough run, but the work ethic is there. One big result, which could happen this weekend, could change a lot of the picture and we could find ourselves in a good position in the league. We got nothing off City last year but I don't think they are as strong as they were last year coming into this game...what I do know is they will be pretty much focused on this game and therefore it probably makes it a shade more difficult. But when you are champions of the Premier League, it's a difficult game full stop.'
'Things are not going well but I know we will still have a great year. United have more experience but we have a much better team and play much better football. Six points is not a big difference with twenty two games still to play. We need to try to win five or six games in a row to try and reduce the gap. Even though we lost on Sunday, we showed that we are a really strong team and can win the title again.'
'Newcastle away last year was definitely a turning point for us, they were playing for a Champions League spot and for us, three points put us back in the title race with United. I believe this year it is also a massive game, three points against Newcastle away would be a great result and hopefully help us to catch up with United, but the first thing is to play well and get the points for the fans...I personally believe and feel that we have a mission and its aim is to become champions again.'
'The message was very clear for everyone at the start of the season. We can't sit back and just expect the success of the last campaign to land in our laps again. An acceptable minimum is unacceptable because we have the ambition to improve on our achievements last season and do better again. Of course, as champions you start most games as favourites to win. Teams tend to sit back a little bit more and wait for you to take the game to them — then try and catch you on the counter-attack. They may have more respect but they are not naive and that makes each game a bit trickier. But it's an honour to be defending the Premier League, so you have to take everything that comes with it.'
Hatem Ben Arfa
LATE FITNESS TEST:
Dangerous with a capital D. Demba Ba has scored five goals in his last six Premier League appearances at St James Park. If Mancio's assertion that his captain has a two per cent chance of making this game is proved correct then Nastasic with Kolo Toure or Joleon Lescott have got a job on.
Gareth Barry - Suspended
LATE FITNESS TEST:
At the risk of coming across all Mark Lawrenson, Tévez merits a start here alongside Sergio Aguero. The pair of them look released following a substitution that brings them together. Clearly City's most potent striker combination. This is a time for winners and El Apache has that mentality in spades.
THE NUMBERS GAME:
The Blues have recorded 5 straight league wins over The Magpies. Newcastle have not won any of their last 11 games against Man City stretching back to September 2005.
What a turnaround in Geordie fortunes. Newcastle are 14th with 17 points. This time last season they were 7th with 27 points.
As for City. At the same stage last season The Citizens were top of the table leading the rags by 2 points. City have 8 points fewer in the bag right now.
City have yet to win a match this month. This is number 4. The side have not lost 2 consecutive league matches since October 2010.
HEAD TO HEAD:
League: 53 City Wins, 35 Draws, 64 Newcastle Wins
League Cup: 2 City Wins, 1 Draw
FA Cup: 2 City Wins, 2 Draws 1 Newcastle Win
Total: 57 City Wins, 38 Draws, 70 Newcastle Wins
THIS COULD BE THE LAST TIME:
Su 06May 2012 Newcastle 0 - 2 Man City PL
Sa 19Nov 2011 Man City 3 - 1 Newcastle PL
Su 26Dec 2010 Newcastle 1 - 3 Man City PL
Su 03Oct 2010 Man City 2 - 1 Newcastle PL
Betting: City 4/6 Draw 11/4 Newcastle 9/2 Racing Post Soccerbase
TV Coverage: Sky Sports 2 HD and BBC Match Of The Day Anti-City Love-In
CLICK HERE TO FOLLOW THE GAME LIVE IN THE VMC FORUM
CLASSIC CITY TUBE: MAN CITY v NEWCASTLE pt 1 LEAGUE CUP FINAL 1976
A Marriner from the West Midlands -Last Season: Mo 30Apr 2012 Man City 1 - 0 Man Utd-This Season: Su 26Aug 2012 Liverpool 2 - 2 Man City - -2011/12: 28 Games, 92 Yellows, 5 Reds -2012/2013: 12 Games, 41 Yellows, No Reds.
JOHNNY ON THE PREVIEW: Too many players are coasting at Manchester City. In my book, the stand out efforts of the likes of Zabaleta, Silva, Kompany, Hart and Tevez are carrying slackers in too many games. Hence some of the disjointed, occasionally lethargic phases of play we've groaned at this season. It's the type of strangely erratic apathy that saw The Blues fall two goals behind last Sunday. There's an irregularity about our performances that doesn't add up. We are looking at a City side that has kept clean sheets in their last three league away matches. The Blues have never kept four away clean sheets in a row in the club's top flight history yet there's this nagging doubt that what was a long unbeaten run could unravel very quickly. That is why this game at Newcastle is of extreme importance. Admittedly, we have shipped a lot of injuries, oddly mainly hamstrings but Mancio will celebrate three years as City manager in 4 days time. I for one would love to see him reach that milestone on a high. For that to happen his players need to up their efforts to the level that realised a derby fightback. They owe him a big performance and I think he'll get it. N.B. No more utterly predictable corner and free kick processions please.Newcastle 0 City 2
all times East Manchester
Sa 22Dec 15h00 Reading, The Etihad, PL
We 26Dec 15h00 Sunderland, Stadium of Light, PL
Sa 29Dec 15h00 Norwich, Carrow Road, PL
Tu 01Jan 15h00 Stoke, The Etihad, PL
Sa 05Jan 15h00 Watford, The Etihad, FAC
Su 13Jan 16h00 Arsenal, The Emirates, PL
Sa 19Jan 15h00 Fulham, The Etihad, PL
Tu 29Jan 19h45 QPR, Loftus Road, PL
Date:Friday December 14 2012
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