Manchester City return to Premier League action this weekend to take on Newcastle United at St. James Park. The game will give Pep Guardiola’s side an opportunity to head to their midseason break with a win. A win against Eddie Howe’s side would send the champions into the break with momentum as they refresh and recharge ahead for a busy second half of the season. It could also allow City to put pressure on Premier League leaders Liverpool with Jurgen Klopp’s side not in action this weekend.
Manchester City team news
For Manchester City, they have several players in doubt due to injury. Defenders Manuel Akanji and John Stones would appear to be in doubt due to knee and ankle injuries respectively. Akanji was substituted early in City’s 5-nil win over Huddersfield Town last weekend due to a knee injury. Stones still hasn’t resumed training after he sustained an ankle injury in City’s win over Everton at Goodison Park.
Bernardo Silva and Kalvin Phillips both missed last weekend’s FA Cup win due to illness. The pair have returned to training this week and should take their place in the City squad this weekend. There could also be a return to Pep Guardiola’s squad for Erling Haaland. City’s number 9 has missed their last 9 games with a foot injury and has returned to training.
An update on the availability of the champion’s injured players should come at Pep Guardiola’s press conference later today.
Newcastle team news
Newcastle meanwhile have several key injury concerns heading into Saturday’s match.
Midfielder Joelinton is expected to miss the upcoming clash with the world champions due to a thigh injury. The Brazilian sustained the injury in last weekend’s 3-nil FA Cup third-round tie win over Sunderland. The Athletic reports that the midfielder is likely to be out for the next month.
Joe Willock, Harvey Barnes and Callum Wilson are all expected to be out of Saturday’s clash. The Athletic reports that the trio should return for the Magpies after their midseason break.
They will also be without goalkeeper Nick Pope who is out due to a dislocated shoulder.
Manchester City predicted starting eleven
With the game representing Pep Guardiola’s side’s last game before their break, it is expected that the City manager will go in with the strongest available starting eleven. Only John Stones and Manuel Akanji appear unavailable. The champions should have a full squad available. Based on the available information, the treble winners could line up as follows:
Ederson, Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias, Nathan Ake, Josko Gvardiol, Rodri, Mateo Kovacic, Bernardo Silva, Jack Grealish, Phil Foden, Julian Alvarez.
The world champions’ trip to St. James Park will present a tough challenge for Pep Guardiola’s side. Manchester City won the reverse fixture 1-nil at the Etihad Stadium earlier this season thanks to an inspired Phil Foden performance and a first-half goal from Julian Alvarez secured City all three points.
But Eddie Howe’s side is a different proposition at home and backed by a passionate home crowd they will be up for the visit of the champions. A tough test awaits the European champions this weekend.