Newcastle United-Manchester City Preview
It seems uncertain what to expect from Manchester City over the final weeks of this unique Premier League season.
Following their second league defeat in three games, City get back on the horse Wednesday night when they try to cool off in-form Newcastle United at the Etihad.
Manchester City (21-3-9) will not repeat as Premier League champions this season. That said, there is still more action to go on the season and City currently sit a comfortable second in the table. They also have potential success waiting for them in the Champions League and the FA Cup.
The Citizens are 3-0-2 in the league since the return to action from the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, with one of those victories over champions Liverpool. Surrounding that triumph was a 2-1 loss at Chelsea on June 25 (which officially clinched the Premier League title for Liverpool) and 1-0 at Southampton on Sunday.
Che Adams' goal in the 16th minute proved all the Saints needed to pull off the upset at St Mary's. City, who have a league-high 81 goals this season, had scored 13 times in their previous four league contests, but their latest effort could lend some to believe it's uncertain just what to expect for the club for the remainder of the top-flight campaign.
Not because they don't have the talent, but whether just how much heart they have left to complete a campaign that won't result in any silverware. Manager Pep Guardiola, though, wants to look forward whilst still believing his team has the same amount of offensive firepower they've shown all season.
"We lost (Sunday), but we cannot say we are not a team who doesn't score goals this season," Guardiola told Manchester City's official website.
"Of course we have confidence in the players, and we are the same guys...Next season will be next season...The Liverpool result is in the past. Southampton is also now in the past."
Raheem Sterling (23 overall goals) failed to score in a third straight game over all competitions on Sunday. He scored in City's 2-2 finish at St James' Park on Nov. 30. The Citizens appeared to be headed to a victory in that contest before Jonjo Shelvey leveled the match in the 88th minute.
Shelvey scored his sixth Premier League goal of the season in the 67th minute on Sunday to help Newcastle salvage a 2-2 home draw with West Ham United.
Since the last day of February, Newcastle (11-10-12) are 3-3-0 in the league and currently 12th in the table. More important, the Magpies' 43 points all but certainly keep them safe from relegation.
"The one thing you can't question is the spirit amongst them and that resilience," manager Steve Bruce told Newcastle's official website. "It's never easy."
It has not been easy for Newcastle to beat Man City on the Citizens' home pitch during the Premier League era. The Magpies are 1-4-14 all-time against Man City on the road (that lone win came in September 2000), and mired in a 10-game losing streak at Manchester within the league.
Updated July 6, 2020