Manchester City vs Newcastle United: Preview and Prediction

Defending FA Cup champions Manchester City host fellow Premier League outfit Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium in a quarter-final tie on Saturday evening.

The Etihad Stadium will witness an all-Premier League FA Cup quarter-final clash between Manchester City and Newcastle United this Saturday. Erling Haaland scored five as the Citizens hammered Luton Town 6-2 in the fifth round, while the Magpies kept their cool from 12 yards to edge past Championship side Blackburn Rovers.

Manchester City face a tricky battle to retain their Premier League crown, with last week’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool leaving one of the most exciting title races in Europe wide open.

Pep Guardiola’s push for back-to-back trebles requires concentration on two other fronts, though, and after sealing a place through to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, he will look to plot a route to Wembley Stadium here.

Newcastle United, meanwhile, are currently sitting 10th in the Premier League, a big fall from last season. Having disrupted the top four, many expected Newcastle to challenge again, becoming regulars in the Champions League battle.

However, their season is in serious danger of fizzling out. Eddie Howe’s side have been plagued by injuries. But even with key players returning, they seem to be running on empty tanks. That was clear in their 3-2 defeat at Chelsea on Monday night, as Newcastle keep making big defensive mistakes and are now 15 points off the top four and seven points off sixth-place.

Lifting the FA Cup probably represents Newcastle’s best hope of qualifying for the Europa League next season. But that is easier said than done for Newcastle United up against a formidable opponent in Manchester City. Saturday will be the fourth meeting between the Magpies and Citizens this season.

Howe’s troops can take solace from the fact they have dumped their opponents out of a cup competition, doing so in the EFL Cup third round in September, though they were beaten in Premier League meetings both home and away. The Hard Tackle will now analyse both teams and how they are shaping up ahead of the much-anticipated clash.

Team News & Tactics

Manchester City

Jack Grealish was Manchester City’s only injured player heading into the game against Liverpool. The situation has exacerbated since then, and they will be missing two of their key players against Newcastle United.

Kevin De Bruyne has picked up a groin issue, and he has been left out of the Belgium squad for the March friendlies. Grealish is still out, while Ederson suffered an injury against Liverpool and is going to be out for around four weeks.

Given Guardiola uses his first-choice more often than not, backup goalkeeper Stefan Ortega has had to be very patient for his chance. But now he needs to step up and perform consistently for around a month in Ederson’s absence.

Pep Guardiola will go with his usual 4-2-3-1 system here, with players like defender Josko Gvardiol and attacking midfielder Oscar Bobb starting from the outset. Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias, and Nathan Ake will form the back-four alongside Gvardiol. Rodri is an automatic starter for Manchester City in midfield, with Mateo Kovacic set to partner him in this FA Cup tie.

Phil Foden will play as No. 10 ahead of Julian Alvarez, with Bobb and Jeremy Doku manning the flanks. Centre-forward Erling Haaland endured a quiet outing against Liverpool and will be looking to return to the scoresheet here.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Ortega; Walker, Dias, Ake, Gvardiol; Rodri, Kovacic; Bobb, Foden, Doku; Haaland

Newcastle United

There are also fresh injury concerns for Newcastle United ahead of this FA Cup clash, with both Anthony Gordon (knee) and Dan Burn (knock) being forced off in the Premier League defeat against Chelsea on Monday night, although Gordon has still been named in the England squad for the March international break.

Burn could recover in time to start, but Gordon’s prospects are less promising. Jacob Murphy stands to benefit from this, giving him a chance to build on his stunning goal against Chelsea.

Harvey Barnes was left out of the matchday squad the last time out due to a hamstring injury, while Kieran Trippier (calf), Nick Pope (shoulder), Callum Wilson (pectoral), Joelinton (thigh), Sandro Tonali (suspended), and Joe White (cup-tied) are all out.

With injuries continuing to bite at their attack, Newcastle United may just need the front-three of Miguel Almiron, Jacob Murphy, and Alexander Isak to turn in a big performance against Manchester City this weekend.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Dubravka; Livramento, Schar, Botman, Burn; Longstaff, Guimaraes, Willock; Murphy, Isak, Almiron

Key Stats

  • Manchester City and Newcastle have not faced each other in the FA Cup since the 2019/20 quarterfinal.
  • This will be the fourth meeting between City and Newcastle this season.
  • Newcastle aim to make it to the FA Cup semi-final for the first time since 2004/05.
  • Newcastle knocked Man City out of the EFL Cup in September. The last team to eliminate them from both domestic cups in the same season was Tottenham in 1992/93.
  • Since making his first Premier League start of the season on December 7 (a 3-0 loss to Everton), Newcastle shot-stopper Martin Dubravka has made the most saves (59) of any goalkeeper in the competition.

Player to Watch

Phil Foden

Embed from Getty Images

Phil Foden is enjoying a standout campaign for Manchester City. It was not long ago that Foden’s place in Pep Guardiola’s team was a major talking point. But in the words of his Catalan head coach, he is making a strong claim to be the “best player in the Premier League right now.”

He has now scored six goals and provided an assist in his last seven league games. In total, the 23-year-old has scored 11 Premier League goals this season and assisted seven, putting him joint-eighth in the rankings for those categories.


Manchester City 3-1 Newcastle United

This promises to be a fantastic FA Cup tie, with a lot hanging on it for both teams. As long as Manchester City do not go into robotic style, they should be able to sweep Newcastle United aside.

With Kevin De Bruyne and Ederson sidelined, Eddie Howe’s troops may have something to say, and could even make Etihad nervy towards the end. However, given the calibre of players Newcastle United are missing and their recent form, it is difficult to imagine anything other than another trip to Wembley for Manchester City.

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