Newcastle United - Manchester City Preview: Citizens aim to continue momentum at St. James' Park

Following three successive victories, Manuel Pellegrini's side aim to continue their momentum - with Real Madrid on the horizon in a week's time.

Newcastle United - Manchester City Preview: Citizens aim to continue momentum at St. James' Park
Picture source: Getty Images

City a side inspired by their European progression

Bournemouth, West Brom and most recently, comfortably dispatching of Chelsea: Manchester City are feeding off good momentum with their maiden Champions League semi-final fast approaching. 

Tonight, they've got a different task on their hands in the form of relegation battlers Newcastle United. It'd be smart to expect a few changes, but understandably, a few alterations if the game (and consequently, result) is wrapped up in the second-half.  

Sergio Agüero netted a well-taken hat-trick against Guus Hiddink's side at Stamford Bridge, and the Geordies will be eagerly anticipating a ruthless Argentine to arrive upon the north West alongside Kevin de Bruyne and Fernandinho, amongst other world-class talents. When you put it like that, Rafa Benitez' men don't stand much of a chance right? Wrong. 

Despite this, Newcastle still pose credible threat

Despite their 6-1 drubbing at the Ethiad back in October, they'll take heart from the fact that the Citizens have struggled on more than one occasion against the mid/low-table sides this term. Narrow wins over Swansea, Crystal Palace, Norwich (h), Watford and Sunderland prove that there is definitely room for improvement within City's tactical approach - which admittedly, seems slightly predictable at times. 

Newcastle themselves will be hoping to build from their impressive 3-0 victory against Swansea on the weekend, where an inspired performance from captain-for-the-day Moussa Sissoko helped Benitez' side to their first win under the Spaniard since his surprise appointment last month. 

Team news

Fabricio Coloccini (calf) remains sidelined and is thus unavailable for selection, whilst fullback Daryl Janmaat (groin and hand) will also not feature. 

As for Tuesday's visitors, club captain Vincent Kompany (calf) looks to return following a troublesome time with injuries himself - whilst winger Raheem Sterling is also in the squad. The talented 21-year-old, who limped off in the first-half of their 1-0 Manchester Derby defeat last month, could return after a groin problem. 

David Silva and Samir Nasri both have "minor" knocks, whilst the fullback pairing of Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna will both not feature with respective back injuries. 

Predicted XI's

Newcastle: Darlow; Mbemba, Lascelles, Colback, Dummett; Shelvey, Tiote, Sissoko; Townsend, Wijnaldum; Mitrovic. 

Manchester City: Hart; Kolarov, Kompany, Otámendi, Zabaleta; Touré, Fernandinho; Sterling, de Bruyne, Navas, Agüero. 

One stat that plenty of the hosts' supporters won't enjoy seeing though, is this: 

City have dominated this fixture in recent years, and will look to continue thatt in tonight's meeting. | Photo: BBC
City have dominated this fixture in recent years, and will look to continue that in tonight's meeting between the two. | Photo: BBC

A win could propel Newcastle above local rivals Sunderland, as well as Norwich, out of the relegation zone. City meanwhile, need all three points in order to sustain their late charge on an in-form Tottenham Hotspur side in second place, with Arsenal level on points in fourth. Who will prevail? Find out later tonight - with kick-off scheduled for a 7:45PM BST start.