PREVIEW: Newcastle United

Saturday 30 March 2013 | Etihad Stadium | Kick-off 15:00

Tickets: Sold Out.

Last Season: City 3-1 Newcastle

Match Officials: Referee: Neil Swarbrick; assistant referees: S Ledger, G Bewick; fourth official: P Dowd.

Team News:

CITY – Sergio Aguero is back after three games out with a knee injury, however, Vincent Kompany, who hadn’t played eight weeks before his 90 minutes for Belgium in midweek, will be assessed. Micah Richards could be back at the start of next month, along with Jack Rodwell.

Man City (from): Hart, Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, K Toure, Nastasic, Kolarov, Clichy, Milner, Nasri, Sinclair, Y Toure, Barry, Garcia, Silva, Tevez, Aguero, Dzeko, Razak.

NEWCASTLE – The Magpies have a number of injury concerns, chief amongst them is Cheick Tiote who has a hamstring injury and misses the match. Davide Santon (thigh) and Massadio Haidara (knee) are also out. Fabricio Coloccini is training again after his back injury but is still a few weeks away from playing. Tim Krul (ankle) is back in training, but is not ready to start.

Newcastle (from): Elliot, Harper, Simpson, Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, Perch, Bigirimana, Cabaye, Anita, Gutierrez, Gosling, Marveaux, Obertan, Sissoko, Cisse, Gouffran, Ameobi, Campbell.

Stats

Only against Aston Villa (18) have City won more Premier League games than against Newcastle (14).

If City manage to win against Newcastle on Saturday, it will be their 7th consecutive PL victory over the Magpies.

City haven’t lost a Saturday 3pm kick off in the Premier League since May 2011 and are unbeaten in the last 16.

City have the best defensive record in the Premier League, conceding only 26 goals in 29 games and keeping an unrivalled 13 clean sheets.

City are 10 points and 20 goals worse off than at the same stage last season.

Newcastle’s away record – one win and eight points from 15 matches – is the second worst in the division.

The Magpies have kept only one clean sheet in their last 12 Premier League games, conceding 26 goals in that period.

Alan Pardew’s side have conceded 35 second-half goals. Only Aston Villa (37) have fared worse.

Stats courtesy of Stat City & BBC Sport

Press Conference

Roberto Mancini was back in front of the press after avoiding them after the defeat to Everton last time out. He spoke about his anger at the Belgium federation’s decision to play Vincent Kompany for 90 minutes and declared the title race over.

“He didn’t play for us for 60 days and then he went to play for the Belgium team. I did not agree with this. I think sometimes some managers of national teams should understand the situation. This player plays for the club. The club, every month, pay his salary.”

Inside the Opposition

This week’s Inside the Opposition is a must-read interview with Leazes Terrace. We spoke about Pardew’s contract, Keegan, and Kinnear. Also remember to look out for our Preview in Quotes, which rounds up all the talk from inside both camps ahead of the game.

Fixtures

All kick offs are at 3pm unless otherwise stated

Sat 30 Mar 2013 – Premier League

Sunderland v Manchester United (12:45)

Arsenal v Reading

Manchester City v Newcastle

Southampton v Chelsea

Swansea v Tottenham

West Ham v West Brom

Wigan v Norwich

Everton v Stoke (17:30)

Sun 31 Mar 2013 – Premier League

Aston Villa v Liverpool (13:30)

Mon 1 Apr 2013 – Premier League

Fulham v QRP (20:00)

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