Manchester City vs Newcastle United preview: Premier League leaders looking to return to winning ways against troubled Toon

Manchester City vs Newcastle United preview: Premier League leaders looking to return to winning ways against troubled Toon

Manchester City will be looking to return to winning ways when they welcome Newcastle United in Saturday's evening kick-off.

Danial Kennedy

Manchester City will be eager to bounce back from their first Premier League defeat of the campaign with a return to winning ways in Saturday's late kick-off, as they welcome a struggling Newcastle United to The Etihad Stadium. 

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Get back on track 

The Citizens have been running away with the league ever since the opening weeks of the campaign, with Pep Guardiola's men breaking all kinds of records on their way to a seemingly uncatchable lead at the league's summit. 

Guardiola remained humble and determined frequently stating that his side will eventually lose a game and it would be how they would they would react to such a scenario, and that situation has come around following their trip to Anfield last Sunday. 

Many had the Liverpool clash down as City's toughest remaining match and that it proved to be with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's early opener before Leroy Sané levelled things up, however quick-fire goals from Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah all but ended the tie despite late goals from Bernardo Silva and İlkay Gündoğan making it a more respectable 4-3 score-line. 

It hasn't been that long since the two sides clashed at St James' Park with a single goal from Raheem Sterling separating the sides on a cold December night, and Guardiola will be hoping for a similar result to get his side on the winning road again. 

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Try and shine a light through miserable magpies storm 

Newcastle's season has been quite the polar opposite to that of City's as turmoil both and off the pitch seeing them wallow just above the relegation zone, and that was made worse this week when their only glimmer hope of escaping the Mike Ashley regime was seemingly stomped out. 

A bid for The Magpies by Amanda Staveley and her PCP Group has been on the table since November but it was reported this week from sources close to Ashley that such a deal was off the table, the lack of clarity in the hierarchy of the club seems to be seeping onto the pitch. 

They headed into last week's crucial clash with fellow strugglers Swansea City knowing that three points would only suffice to pull them from the very real threat of relegation, it looked to be the worst case scenario as Jordan Ayew gave the visitors the leads despite numerous missed opportunities from the hosts but Joselu managed to salvage a point. 

Newcastle have shown some fight when they have visited the big sides this season taking the lead at both Chelsea and Manchester United, but considering the devastating form that their hosts are in it is looking a case of damage limitation for Rafael Benítez's men. 

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Team news 

The freshest absence for Guardiola will be that midfielder turned full-back Fabian Delph, the former Aston Villa man was taken off in the first-half last week with a knee injury with Guardiola confirming that he is unaware of the extent of the 28-year-old's injury.

David Silva is also expected to return to the starting XI having sat out last week's defeat with a stomach problem, captain Vincent Kompany continues his return to fitness but this clash is expected to come too quickly for the Belgian. 

The main concern for Benítez will be the fitness of Dwight Gayle who came off with a knock in last Saturday's stalemate, Florian Lejeune still remains a doubt with a foot injury while Jesús Gámez remains on the sidelines. 

Manchester City will host Newcastle United at The Etihad Stadium on Saturday, January 20 with kick-off at 5:30pm GMT.