Manchester City are still locked in a fierce battle with Arsenal to become Premier League champions, knowing an in-form Manchester United are also just about in the picture.
There has been an upturn in the last two performances from Pep Guardiola’s side as they beat Bournemouth 4-1 in the Premier League and then smashed Bristol City 3-0 in the FA Cup. They return to the Etihad after an incredible five away games in a row in all competitions.
Here is the team Guardiola may choose to try and overcome a talented Newcastle squad.
GK: Ederson – Stefan Ortega is expected to make his return from injury for City after going off at halftime in the cup but that is not going to stop Guardiola’s selection of Ederson in goal.
CB: Kyle Walker – The Englishmen was given a rest in Bristol but he is expected to come back into his wide centre back role to deal with the threat of Allan Saint-Maximin.
CB: Ruben Dias – Such is the consistency and importance of the Portuguese defender, he played the whole game against Bristol City and is expected to do the same here. He will be up against either Callum Wilson or Alexander Isak.
CB: Aymeric Laporte – Having missed some recent games due to illness, Laporte could come into the starting lineup for what may be a very tough test for City.
DM: Rodri – Guardiola has been relying heavily on Rodri this season so his rest against Bristol City was welcome. He will be feeling fresh and ready to win the midfield battle.
DM: Ilkay Gundogan – This seems to have become the double pivot of Guardiola’s choosing for the bigger games this season and Gundogan was also rested against Bristol City.
RM: Riyad Mahrez – When City really need a goal, it so often seems to be Mahrez who finds it. Guardiola will hope he can provide a serious threat to Dan Burn down the City right.
CM: Kevin De Bruyne – Impressive again in the cup, De Bruyne will surely be the creator in chief against Newcastle despite playing 90 minutes on Tuesday night.
CM: Bernardo Silva – The Portuguese midfielder has been used in some varying roles this season and may be on the bench here, but Guardiola could use him alongside De Bruyne as he did in the cup.
LM: Phil Foden – Guardiola was really talking up Foden after his two goals in the FA Cup and he may look to use that momentum by starting him instead of Jack Grealish.
ST: Erling Haaland – He got a full rest on Tuesday and Newcastle should be scared about that. Haaland won’t have enjoyed sitting on the bench and will be raring to go on Saturday lunchtime.