The Premier League has started with a bang. Matchday one is done and we head into the second. This league never stops to provide the entertainment, averaging 2.8 goals per match shows you that there’s end-to-end football totally ensured. This probably would be one of those leagues where you will enjoy thrillers like 5-1, 4-1 and 3-0 on its very first day. Speaking about that 3-0 scoreline, it brings us to the defending champions, Manchester City. City faced Burnley in their first outing of the season. Kompany-led Burnley did play some amazing ball, but it was nowhere near enough to defeat this seasoned bunch of athletes. Haaland could not even wait for 5 minutes to put the ball behind the net. Walk in a park? Previous season, Arsenal was the star of the initial phase of the league while City was struggling a bit. Now, City will try its best to stay in the picture and dominate the league. Will they have enough resources or depth to do so? Well, the transfer window is yet to close.
Matchday 2 will see Man City host the table toppers, Newcastle United, in the Etihad’s first league match of the season. Newcastle won their first match by netting 5 goals past Unai Emery‘s Aston Villa. That surely was a walk in the park for the Magpies. Now they must top the team which just won the UEFA Super Cup! Although Newcastle must have a very high confidence after schooling Aston Villa. The squad looks immaculate. The players are hungry as they wait for the Champions League schedule. Latest joining is Lewis Hall, who will be coming as a loan transfer from Chelsea. It is said to be a good business as the fullback will provide a nice depth to the defence. Overall, Newcastle is ready to take on any challenge and showcase their worth of being a top-4 team in the PL.
Speaking on Head-to-Head record, Newcastle enjoyed the taste of 3 points against City back in 2019, when Rafa Benitez was at the wheel. Since then, they have not been able to defeat City. Looking at their form and a lack of luck for City in terms of players’ fitness, Newcastle might want to snatch a couple more than just a single point.
Man City’s Pre-Season form: W L L W W
Newcastle United’s Pre-Season form: D W W W W
WHEN & WHERE?
Where: Etihad Stadium.
When: Saturday, 19th August 2023.
Time: 7:00 PM GMT.
Referee: Robert Jones.
Assistants: Ian Hussin, Adrian Holmes.
Fourth official: Anthony Taylor.
VAR: Jarred Gillett.
Assistant VAR: Eddie Smart.
Dark clouds surround Manchester City as De Bruyne will be out for upto five months. Along with him, John Stones and Bernardo Silva will be unavailable for the fixture as well. Ruben Dias is set to miss the game as he previously suffered concussion.
As for Newcastle, they will not receive the services of Emil Krafth and Joe Willock. Joe is still recovering from the hamstring injury which he suffered through during the preseason. Javier Manquillo will be sidelined for the game as well.
Pep is missing a lot of quality players now. With De Bruyne injured and out for almost 5 months, Foden is set to have a key role in the team. Since Stones and Silva are set to miss the match, we can expect a double pivot of Rodri and Kovacic, with the latter being the box-to-box players helping connect the dots. On the right, Foden will get the start. As the game progresses, he tends to drift more into the middle of the park, allowing him a sort of creative freedom. Lately, Pep has started to play Alvarez in the position of a second striker who plays on the left side of Haaland. In the previous match, Pep approached the game with a back 4 system. The left-back Rico Lewis tends to tuck inside and a defense of back 3 is established.
Eddie Howe has brought this Newcastle to its A game. There is a joy in St. James’ Park that has been sparked by the gaffer. Eddie uses a 4-3-3 system. A classic formation which helps the Magpies to play according to their strengths. The style is based on the transition in a pacey manner. Eddie focuses on possession-based football with an offensive approach. The defenders maintain a high line which brings a defensive solidity in the middle third of the park.
Of course! He is going to be the obvious pick. Man could not even wait longer than 5 minutes to score the very first goal of the season. A brace in the first match of the season, and there are still 37 games to go. This guy is all set to break his own record. Wait until he mocks the defences and make the league look silly, as if he already has not. Surely a Menace!
Looks like we have got another Scandinavian striker to look at, in this fixture. Isak is a complete baller. Scoring a brace against the famous defence of Emery, he once again reminded the world who he is. If Haaland’s a poacher, then Isak is the counterpart of him. A striker with an immaculate sense of dropping and handling the pressure with his back to the goal. His pace makes him even more lethal of a striker. If stayed completely fit, throughout the season, he surely can unleash hell in the premier league.
Manchester City’s predicted lineup vs Newcastle United: Ederson; Lewis, Gvardiol, Dias, Walker; Rodri, Kovacic; Grealish, Alvarez, Foden; Haaland.
Newcastle United’s predicted lineup vs Man City: Pope; Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn; Tonali, Guimaraes, Joelinton; Almiron, Isak, Barnes.