Newcastle United vs Manchester City FA Cup quarter-final preview: Toon poised to set up Wembley date
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 30: Newcastle player Jonjo Shelvey (l) shoots to score the 2nd Newcastle goal despite the attentions of city players Rodri and Kevin De Bruyne during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester City at St. James Park on November 30, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Newcastle United will come in as the underdogs against a Manchester City side who will be desperate to retain their FA Cup crown, after falling short of success in the Premier League.

Steve Bruce's men have an opportunity to match their furthest FA Cup run for 15 years with victory at St James Park' on Sunday.

The last time the Magpies reached the quarter-final stage in this competition was all the way back in 2006, where they were narrowly beaten 1-0 at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea.

Newcastle fans have had very little to shout about when it comes to cup competitions in recent years, with the emphasis on Premier League survival meaning that these additional matches are seen as a mere hindrance to their season.

When Steve Bruce arrived on Tyneside last summer, he made a beeline to challenge in the cups, and it is fair to say he has honoured that with this current FA Cup run.

Since Pep Guardiola arrived in Manchester just under four years ago, his City side have reached the semi-final stage twice and won this exact competition last year. 

The Citizens will put the Premier League on the backburner after their defeat at Chelsea in midweek meant Liverpool were crowned league champions for the first time in 30 years.

With the Champions League restarting in August, it means this FA Cup clash is City's number one priority. 

This is St James' Park's biggest game for some time, and it is a massive shame that 52,000 supporters cannot be in attendance.

The winner of this tie will head to Wembley Stadium for the semi-final, a mouthwatering prospect for both supporters.

Form

Newcastle have been unbeaten since the Premier League restarted earlier this month, recording a victory against Sheffield United and drawing with Aston Villa.

The Magpies' FA Cup campaign so far has seen them defeat League One sides Rochdale and Oxford United, as well as defeating Championship promotion candidates West Brom in the previous round.

Manchester City have played three Premier League games since the restart - they defeated Arsenal and Burnley before losing to Chelsea in midweek, with City's star man Kevin De Bruyne scoring a magnificent free-kick.

To reach the quarter-final stage, City defeated League Two Port Vale, Fulham and Sheffield Wednesday so far in their FA Cup journey

Previous meeting

Newcastle and Manchester City have already played against each other at St James' Park this season, in a thrilling 2-2 draw.

Winger Raheem Sterling gave City the lead on 22 minutes, but Jetro Willems equalised just a few minutes later for the Magpies.

Kevin De Bruyne thought he had won the game for Manchester City with a goal of the season contender, but a late Jonjo Shelvey strike meant City had to settle for a point.

Team news - Newcastle United

Paul Dummett could be in line to start due to him being unregistered from the remainder of the Premier League campaign.

Florian Lejeune and Ciaran Clark will be unavailable for selection, with injuries picked up prior to the restart.

Geordie brothers Matty Longstaff and Sean Longstaff could make a return to the squad for this game, barring a late fitness test.

In-form pair Matt Ritchie and Isaac Hayden both picked up injuries in the 1-1 draw against Aston Villa, but are expected to be apart of the squad for this FA Cup clash.

Team news - Manchester City

Fernandinho was sent off in the Chelsea game on Sunday and will start his three-match ban on Sunday, meaning he is unavailable.

Sergio Aguero will not have the opportunity to add to his excellent goalscoring record against Newcastle, after picking up a knee injury against Burnley.

England defender John Stones could make a welcome return to the City side for this game after recovering from an ankle injury. 

Eric Garcia's brutal head injury against Arsenal means he is still unavailable for selection.

Cup goalkeeper Claudio Bravo is a doubt with a hamstring injury which he picked up in training.

Key players

Allan Saint-Maximin has been ever-present for Newcastle since the restart, keeping up the form that has made him the Magpies' most important player.

A match-up against City's susceptible left-hand side could be something Steve Bruce utilises in an attempt to pull off a shock result.

Kevin De Bruyne is Manchester City's star man and they will be looking to him to create the key chances in a bid book a place at Wembley.

The Belgian international will be keen to add another goal against Newcastle, after scoring a screamer at St James' Park in November last year.

Predicted line-ups

Newcastle United: Dubravka; Manquillo, Lascelles, Fernandez, Dummett; Shelvey, Hayden; Ritchie, Almiron, Saint-Maximin, Carroll. (4-2-3-1)

Manchester City: Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Laporte, Zinchenko; De Bruyne, Rodri, D. Silva; Mahrez, Sterling, Jesus. (4-3-3)

Where to watch the game

BBC One (UK) - 18:30 BST - 28/06/20

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