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State-owned derby?

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Less than two years ago, this would have been a procession of a game. A fixture lost among the 10 games that happen each week whose result was known before the ball was kicked. Manchester City vs Newcastle was a clash of two teams where one had an endless pit of cash vs another who didn’t want to spend any (Mike Ashley).

Fast forward to today, a Newcastle takeover later, this game is on its way to becoming a modern-day rivalry if Newcastle can keep up their trajectory.

They’re already ahead of schedule, securing a Champions League position last year and further strengthening this year.

As for Manchester City, there’s nothing that can be said which hasn’t been said already.

After joining the list of teams that have won the treble, the challenge for them is to just keep going and replicate Barcelona’s sextuple. Domestic football is complete.

Here’s the match preview, buildup, team news, and more as a potential modern-day rivalry takes its first steps-

Manchester City vs Newcastle preview

Manchester City and Newcastle enjoyed arguably the two best performances on matchday one.

Burnley were swatted aside in routine fashion by the Cityzens and Erling Haaland picked up from where he left off last season, getting a brace.

Newcastle, on the other hand, had the statement performance of the week, demolishing a similarly resurgent Aston Villa by a scoreline of 5-1. Debutant Sandro Tonali has immediately become a fan favourite after scoring in that game.

The only way for them is upwards and a game against the level they aspire to reach one day is a good indicator of where they are right now.

The game kicks off at 8 PM BST on Saturday.

Manchester City vs Newcastle predicted lineup

Manchester City team news

Predicting a Pep Guardiola team is always a difficult exercise. The Spaniard has arguably the deepest squad in all of football. Despite losing key players like Aymeric Laporte (on his way to Saudi) and Riyad Mahrez (Already in Saudi), the machine keeps whirring.

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However, one player who will be missing for this one and beyond is Kevin de Bruyne. The Belgian maestro hobbled off against Burnley and Guardiola has said he needs surgery. He’s set for a long spell on the sidelines, potentially opening up an opportunity for James McAtee.

Julian Alvarez’s game has been successfully refashioned to suit playing alongside Haaland instead of in his place.

Predicted Man City XI: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Ake, Lewis, Rodri, Kovecic, Foden, Alvarez, Silva, Haaland

Newcastle team news

You don’t really change much when the last game the selected lineup blew away fellow European dreamers in such a convincing fashion.

Callum Wilson vs Alexander Isak is a good problem to have for coach Eddie Howe but the latter’s brace against Aston Villa means he’s likely to keep his place for this one. Harvey Barnes in place of Anthony Gordon could be a change due to Barnes’ pace and trickery being useful on the break, but Howe is likely to reward the same team which beat Villa.

Predicted Newcastle XI: Pope, Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn, Joelinton, Guimaraes, Tonali, Almiron, Gordon, Isak

Manchester City vs Newcastle prediction

Manchester City’s urge to dominate possession vs Newcastle’s threat on the counter. Eddie Howe has fashioned his team in such a way that they are tactically very flexible. They can dominate possession and create chances against deep blocks and are also capable of ceding the ball and territory to hit teams on the counter.

The latter will be the case on Saturday. The Magpies will need to be at their clinical best to come back with a result. This is City’s first home game of the season so the atmosphere should be electric as well.

Expect Manchester City to ground down Newcastle with their game and win, but not before Howe’s men give them a scare with a goal on the counter-attack.

FootTheBall predicts Manchester City 3-1 Newcastle. 

Vatsal Gupta
A die-hard Red Devil, who has straight up not had a good time since 2012. Lives on Korean dramas and books and can often be heard talking about armchair psychological stuff.

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