After admitting that the club was “very close to a crisis” after the midweek home defeat by Sheffield Wednesday in the League Cup, Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren praised his players’ courage during the 2-2 draw with Chelsea last Saturday. In fact, the Magpies led the defending champions 2-0 entering the final 11 minutes, before succumbing to late goals from Ramirez and Willian. Nevertheless, the result leaves Newcastle second from bottom of the Premier League and without a win, so the Toon Army will hardly be relishing the trip down the A1 to face Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
City won the corresponding fixture last season 5-0 but, although just a point behind Manchester United at the top of the Premier League, Manuel Pellegrini’s side has lost three of its last four games, including home defeats by Juventus and West Ham. Injuries to Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, David Silva and Ya Ya Toure have robbed the Sky Blues of key personnel in recent weeks and, although the last-named trio remain doubtful for the Champions League clash with Borussia Monchengladbach on Wednesday, they could all be back in contention for starting places on Saturday.
The arrival of Georginio Wijnaldum, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Florian Thauvin and Chancel Mbemba at Newcastle, and the appointment of Steve McClaren at the helm, has yet to conclusively steady the ship that foundered so badly again last season and a full-strength City side could, frankly, run riot. The bookmakers don’t give the Magpies much of a chance either, with the best 1-x-2 prices 1/4, 6/1 and 12/1.
City hitman Sergio Aguero scored 26 goals in the Premier League in 2014/15, but his tally so far this season is just one. This is the fixture that could get the ball rolling for the Argentinian, so we fancy a punt on “Kun” at 12/1 with Coral to score a hat-trick!
Selection: Sergio Aguero to score a hat-trick (12/1 with Coral)
Did you hear about the £45,000 accumulator win from a £5 bet that happened today? Some people get all the luck don’t they!