February 21, 2018

English Premier League: Man City hosts Newcastle, and more

21 January 2018, 08:30 | Randolph Howard

GETTY Arsenal Hector Bellerin- 5,428

Arsenal Hector Bellerin- 5,428

And Guardiola will be confident that his high-flying City side can claim all three points on Saturday against Rafa Benitez's men. New Stoke City manager Paul Lambert won his first game in charge of the Potters as they beat Huddersfield Town 2-0 with second-half goals from Joe Allen and Mame Biram Diouf to climb out of the relegation zone. "He's more of a winger, No. 10, but we are not going to buy a striker".

Manchester City were favourites to sign the wantaway forward not so long ago, but the club baulked at the Chilean's transfer fee and wage demands and have since pulled out of the deal.

"If Liverpool showed other teams the way to beat Manchester City last weekend with their high-energy and attack-minded tactics, I can not see Rafa Benitez following that template". I never say anything because they know the reality.

Sterling was unlucky to not have City's third goal in the 71st minute.

Then there was the 2-1 defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League, their first reverse in 29 matches, and the squeaky 2-1 win against Championship side Bristol City in the semi-final of the League Cup. "I think it's so close - so close that if it doesn't happen (soon) it's not going to happen". Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round's Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game. Newcastle sat deep and used the offside trap to great effect, most notably when Raheem Sterling put the ball in the back of the net after some delightful build-up play from Sane and David Silva. Leroy Sane seemed most poised to trigger a City goal, but it remained scoreless after a quarter hour.

Pep Guardiola said that Sergio Aguero's hat-trick on Saturday against Newcastle showed why Manchester City didn't need to buy a striker.

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Manchester United, on the other hand, had a strong first half to the Premier League season, though their efforts still see them trailing Manchester City by 12 points at the top of the table.

Newcastle's defensive tactics were set from the kickoff - Jonjo Shelvey shot from the halfway line and the Magpies immediately retreated to the edge of their own box to soak up City attacks. It didn't get Newcastle a point on either occasion.

"We have spent a lot of money, I'm not denying it, because we had to change a lot of players because we were so old in terms of the players who in the past were wonderful".

With all that in mind, there are three bets which can be made for this game.

The home side bounced back from defeat at Liverpool to restore their 12-point lead at the top of the standings after Manchester United had briefly cut it to nine earlier in the day.

The Magpies have triumphed in back-to-back Premier League away games, having won just one of the previous 20.

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