Newcastle will play host to Manchester City at St. James’ Park on 17th August, at 1600 hours BST. This will be the first encounter for each time going into the new campaign.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side, Manchester City had a mixed pre-season tour that saw them win a few high scoring encounters but also lose a few games. Last weekend they also lost the Community Shield match against Arsenal 3-0. However, this should not deter the team as they showed us what they were capable of after a five match winning streak to win the League title last season.
With the arrivals of Eliaquim Mangala, Fernando, Bacary Sagna from and Frank Lampard on a six month loan deal, the defending champions have definitely improved and bolstered their squad defensively.
What could hurt City at the start of the new season is the unavailability of Alvaro Negredo and Sergio Aguero as they are out injured. There is concern over match fitness of Lampard, Kompany, Sagna, Zabaleta and Demichels who are also likely to miss the visit to St. James’ Park.
Edin Dzeko will play upfront and the onus for a good start to the season will be left to him.
Newcastle United finished last season in 10th spot. They will want to hit the ground running and defeating the defending champions at home will lay a perfect platform for them to carry on from. Pappis Cisse, David Santon and Ryan Taylor remain side-lined due to injury. While the inclusion of Cheick Tiote and Siem de Jong will be subject to a last minute medical test.
The Toons also added a few names to their ranks with eminent players such as Jack Colback, de Jong, Remy Cabella, Daryl Janmaat and Emmanuel Riviera. It will be satisfying to know that new signings have fit in well and also scored a few goals in the pre-season friendlies.
Manchester City enters this game as clear favourites, but Newcastle as shown previously can take the game to their opposition.
Prediction: Manchester City 3-0 Newcastle