Table-toppers Manchester City will host a resurgent Newcastle United in this weekend’s Premier League game. In their previous meeting, the Magpies lost 0-4 at home to the Cityzens. Manchester City are coming off a morale-crushing 1-3 defeat to Real Madrid in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League at the Santiago Bernabeu, which saw them get knocked out of the competition. Newcastle are also coming off a loss in their previous game, though it was a narrow 0-1 defeat to Liverpool in the previous weekend.
Manchester City are coming off a heartbreaking loss in the midweek UCL game against Real Madrid that saw them give up 5-3 aggregate lead in just two minutes and get eliminated from the Champions League once again. However, the Cityzens will have to put that loss aside quickly as they are in a fiery Premier League title race against Liverpool with four games left in the season. City have the best defensive record in the Premier League this season in both actual goals conceded and xGA. The Cityzens have outperformed their xGA output (25) by conceding four fewer than expected (21).
Manchester City have the second-highest goals scored and xG this season, trailing only Liverpool. The Cityzens also rank in the 100th percentile for several categories, including passes per game, passes into the final third per game, key passes per game and progressive runs per game, to name a few. City rank low in long ball accuracy, being in the 33rd percentile.
Seen in the above visual is the shot map of Manchester City in this Premier League season from open play. As expected, they have been lethal inside the opponents’ six-yard box. City have shared the goalscoring responsibilities very well, as their top scorer, Riyad Mahrez, has only 11 strikes to his name. But, eight players have scored five goals or more for Manchester City. These include Mahrez, de Bruyne, Sterling, Jesus, Silva, Foden, Gundogan and Rodri.
Newcastle United have been in great form since the appointment of Eddie Howe as their coach. The Magpies have gone from a relegation battle to solidifying their mid-table status. This season, Newcastle have won the fifth most aerial duels of any team in the Premier League and average just over 17 successful aerial duels per game. The acquisition of Dan Burn, who is 201 cm tall, may have played a part in this. Nonetheless, City should be wary of the aerial threat that Newcastle possess.
Matt Richie has been Newcastle United’s most successful threat creator in the Premier League this season from both open play as well as from set-pieces. Allan Saint-Maximin is the Magpies’ top assist provider this season, with four to his name.
Manchester City have been on an unbeaten run in the Premier League since 19th February of this year, and they will hope that it continues because Liverpool are right on their heels if they slip up.