“We will fight until the end” Pep on title race with Arsenal
Manchester City hope to cut the gap on Premier League leaders Arsenal to just two points when they host Newcastle United this afternoon.
Pep Guardiola’s men trail by five points after a run of three consecutive victories for the Gunners has left them in charge of the title race. During that run, City dropped two points in a 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest but responded with a 4-1 hammering of Bournemouth. A further victory over Bristol City in the FA Cup has rebuilt confidence in the team and with Phil Foden firing once again the champions will be tough to deal today.
Newcastle may also be there for the taking. After an impressive start to the season Eddie Howe’s men are stumbling. They have won just one league game in seven and have fallen out of the top four. To add insult to injury Newcastle where also beaten by Manchester United in the Carabao Cup final and now must bounce back at the Etihad. Nick Pope will return after being suspended for that match and should provide some stability for the backline. Can Newcastle shock Guardiola’s men?
Follow all the action as Man City host Newcastle in the early Premier League kick off:
Man City vs Newcastle
Manchester City have won 24 of their 28 home matches since last March, drawing three and losing one in all competitions but City have kept just four clean sheets at the Etihad in 12 Premier League games this season.
Michael Jones4 March 2023 11:51
Guardiola wary of Saint-Maximin threat
Pep Guardiola addressed Man City’s previous result with Newcastle which saw the teams play out a 3-3 draw at St. James’ Park and explained that Allan Saint-Maximin caused a lot of problems that day.
“We didn’t find the space,” said Guardiola. “Saint-Maximin dropped us back. He has that ability to take the ball to use the counterattack to drive the ball.
“If you cannot win that duel you have to defend 40 metres further back. We are not a team that concedes too many counterattacks. We try to play with proper strikers like Erling [Haaland] or Julian [Alvarez] before sometimes it would be Gabriel who would drop.
“This game was Saint-Maximin or Almiron or Joelinton – they have players who can run 40 metres with the ball. When that happens, you have to defend. We saw it in the first 10 minutes against Bristol City on our right side.
“We normally concede because we lose easy balls and in that aspect we have to improve.”
With Saint-Maximin starting on the bench for Newcastle today is Eddie Howe saving him for a second half onslaught perhaps?
Michael Jones4 March 2023 11:46
Eddie Howe on Carabao Cup final defeat
Losing the Carabao Cup final was a blow to Newcastle but manager Eddie Howe says the defeat has only made him more motivated to succeed.
“We were bruised on Sunday and Monday but, very quickly for me, it turned to Manchester City and return to work on Monday afternoon.” he said,
“The passion and the motivation, I didn’t feel, could increase within me but I think it has. We experienced a great occasion to see the Newcastle supporters. The colours, visions and memories that I’ll have and take from that.
“The passion and love they showed to the team in all moments will stay with me and I think we want to return that and give them future successes, which burn deep inside of me.”
Michael Jones4 March 2023 11:41
Man City vs Newcastle team changes
Pep Guardiola makes two changes to the Manchester City team that defeated Bournemouth last time out in the Premier League. Kyle Walker comes in to replace Rico Lewis and Julian Alvarez drops out to make way for Kevin De Bruyne.
There are three changes to the Newcastle side that lost in the Carabao Cup final to Manchester United. Nick Pope returns in goal after serving his one game suspension. Jamaal Lascelles replaces Fabian Schar in defence and Anthony Gordon starts on the left side of attack ahead of Allan Saint-Maximin.
Michael Jones4 March 2023 11:36
Man City vs Newcastle line-ups
Man City XI: Ederson, Walker, Akanji, Dias, Ake, Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Foden, Grealish, Haaland
Newcastle XI: Pope, Trippier, Lascelles, Botman, Burn, Guimaraes, Longstaff, Joelinton, Almiron, Gordon, Wilson
Michael Jones4 March 2023 11:32
Howe on taking on City
Newcastle manager Eddie Howe says he has been pleased with his team’s recent performances despite the results not going their way.
He knows that today’s clash will be a difficult one and says that Newcastle need to be at their best to compete with Pep Guardiola’s side.
“You do (have to be at your best against Man City). It’s a difficult run of games for us when you go against Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City but I think in the first two games, although we we haven’t got the results we wanted, the performances have been strong.” said Howe in the pre-match press conference.
“There’s loads of different ways you can approach a game like Manchester City. We went one way and it was a really brave approach. It was very front foot and it made for a brilliant game between two top teams.
“I don’t think our principles ever change. We’re going to need to be very good defensively and very good with the ball. We’re going to need to pose a threat in the game and I believe we can do that. Certainly, we’ll need to get our foundations strong.”
Michael Jones4 March 2023 11:25
Grealish on improving at City
Manchester City’s £100m man, Jack Grealish, had a tough start to life under Pep Guardiola. He was in and out of the team and not able to replicate the form that earned him such a price tag in the first place.
However, Grealish has slowly found his feet at the Etihad Stadium and has excelled since the World Cup break. He has six goals and assists since Qatar compared to one before the tournament.
“I feel like my form has improved and I feel like I am playing with confidence now.” said Grealish, “The goals and the assists are coming and I am doing it in the big games.
“I think it is important that I am getting goals and assists in important situations.
“It is always nice to get goals and assists but to do it in games that mean a lot, like when you are drawing and it puts your team 2-1 up is different to when you are winning 4-0 and you score to make it 5-0.
“I feel like I am contributing in these big games so hopefully it can continue.”
Michael Jones4 March 2023 11:20
Ryan Fraser told he does not have a future under Eddie Howe at Newcastle
The 29-year-old joined the Magpies on a five-year deal as a free agent after leaving Bournemouth – where he had worked with Howe previously – during the summer of 2020, but has been absent from the squad in recent months.
Asked about Fraser’s situation, the Magpies boss said somewhat cryptically: “Ryan’s training with the Under-21s. I made the decision to concentrate on players that are committed to Newcastle. For the benefit of the group, I’ve made that call.”
Michael Jones4 March 2023 11:15
Man City vs Newcastle
Newcastle’s only away win in 22 Premier League matches against Manchester City was a 1-0 triumph at Maine Road in September 2000, with Alan Shearer scoring the winner.
City have scored in 28 consecutive Premier League games against Newcastle since a 0-0 draw in November 2006.
Michael Jones4 March 2023 11:10
Man City vs Newcastle
Manchester City have won 13 consecutive home league games against Newcastle while the Magpies have been victorious in only one of their last 30 top-flight meetings with City, drawing five and losing 24.
Michael Jones4 March 2023 11:05
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