Two sides who are distinctly out of form come head-to-head in the early Saturday kick-off as Man City travel to Tyneside.
Newcastle had hoped that their 3-0 win over Wigan would have signaled a new run of form, but it was not to be. Two subsequent defeats mean that Alan Pardew’s side have recorded just one victory in their last 10 outings, a run that has seen them fall to 14th in the Premier League, two points from the relegation zone.
Manchester City are also in poor form, although everything is relative. Two defeats in a row, against Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United, add to a run where they have won just a single game in their last six in all competitions. Mancini’s men are now six points behind United in the title race.
The Man City boss is set to axe Samir Nasri from the midfield following his performance in the Manchester derby last weekend, and Gareth Barry is also out suspended. Vincent Kompany, Gael Clichy and Aleksander Kolarov are all out injured, as is James Milner – the lack of midfielders will mean opportunities for Javi Garcia and Scott SInclair.
Newcastle meanwhile will have a late fitness test for Haten Ben Arfa, after he picked up a hamstring strain against Maritimo in the Europa League. He could join Johan Cabaye and Gabriel Obertan on the treatment table for this clash.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Newcastle