Newcastle United desperately need to get something from this clash or risk dropping into the danger zone, whereas Manchester City should be very motivated to make amends
for the 3-2 derby defeat to Manchester United that could end up costing them the Premier League title.
Premier League is a very ruthless competition, which is something Newcastle United have learned the hard way, having finished above Champions League winners Chelsea last term only to get involved in the relegation fight this season. In all fairness, huge selection problems and Europa League campaign were the things that took the wind out of their sails, but the reality is the Magpies now sit just two points above the relegation zone. After losing 6 of last 8 games in all competitions, Newcastle have no option but to try and get something from the game against Manchester City, but unless the back line shows a considerable improvement, that will prove to be a very difficult task. While the attack certainly looks better after the return of Hatem Ben Arfa, the back line is allowing their opponents too many chances and that is something Manchester City will know how to punish.
Manchester City have been largely underperforming this season and they seem to have much more points than they really deserve. Despite being in poor form, the Citizens managed to produce a good attacking performance in the local derby against United, as they returned into the game after conceding two early goals, but Robin van Persie’s last-gasp strike denied them what would have been a well deserved point. With the Citizens now six points behind United and Roberto Mancini under extreme pressure, they clearly cannot afford any more slip-ups and will give their best to triumph at St James Park. Keeping another clean sheet on the travels could prove a very difficult task, especially if Vincent Kompany fails to recover from injury, but City should have enough firepower to hurt Newcastle’s leaky defence.