Men's Team

Sterling, Jesus and Cancelo all return against Magpies

Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Joao Cancelo all return for City for this afternoon’s clash with Newcastle United.

Phil Foden, John Stones and Jack Grealish all make way, dropping to the bench.

Kyle Walker is still not fully fit.

Line-ups

City:

Ederson, Cancelo, Zinchenko, Dias (c), Laporte, Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Mahrez, Jesus, Sterling

Subs: Steffen, Stones, Fernandinho, Ake, Gundogan, Grealish, Foden, Palmer, Wilson-Esbrand

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Murphy, Clark, Lascelles, Hayden, Fraser, Willock, Ritchie, Almiron, Wilson, Joelinton.

Subs: Darlow, Schar, Saint-Maximin, Hendrick, Krafth, Anderson, Longstaff, White, Gayle.

Formation: 4-3-3

No major positional surprises are expected in today’s line-up.

Cancelo takes over from Stones at right-back after serving a one-match ban, while Oleks Zinchenko again gets the vote at left-back.

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Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte continue their central defensive partnership.

Rodrigo anchors a midfield trio that includes the in-form Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo.

Up front, top-scorer Riyad Mahrez is joined by the recalled Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus

Geordie sure?

Though City have dominated this fixture for the best part of 15 years (won 24, drawn five, lost two), recent visits to St James’ Park have proved trickier.

Last season’s 4-3 win could have gone either way and in 2019, City were beaten 2-1 and then drew 2-2 later in the year, so the hosts won’t believe they are not capable of getting something out of this game.

But City know that visiting the team who are second-bottom of the Premier League means three points are expected – even if football doesn’t always pan out that way.

With title rivals Liverpool and Chelsea both in action today and facing tricky games away to Spurs and Wolves respectively, any opportunities to capitalise on either potentially dropping points cannot be missed.

The Magpies showed against Liverpool in midweek that they are making progress under Eddie Howe and while they will hope to pick up points where they can over the festive period, they will look to bring new players in during the January transfer window and aim to kick on in the New Year.

And though as Bournemouth boss, Eddie Howe’s record against Pep Guardiola might not look that impressive,(eight games, eight losses) anyone who recalls City’s 2-1 win over the Cherries in July 2020, will remember that the visitors recorded 15 shots to the Blues’ eight and were desperately unlucky not to take something back to the south coast.

A similar tactical plan today (albeit different clubs and different players), could make this a much closer game than the season stats so far might suggest.

Stats, facts and milestones

  • Newcastle's 2-1 triumph at St James' Park in January 2019 is their only win in the past 27 Premier League games against City (D4, L22).
  • City have lost just one of the last 13 league away meetings, although the Blues have conceded seven goals in the past three visits.
  • City could become just the second club to score in 26 successive Premier League fixtures against the same opponent. Arsenal have previously done so versus West Bromwich Albion.
  • Newcastle could win 50 league games at home to the same opponent for the first time.
  • City's 7-0 win against Leeds United last time out was our joint-second biggest in the top-flight, behind an 8-0 victory over Watford in September 2019.
  • City's seven-match winning streak in the Premier League is the longest current run in the division. The Blues have scored 20 goals and conceded just three during this period.
  • Another victory on Sunday will mean City become the first side to register 34 top-flight wins in a calendar year.
  • It would also mean that the Blues are top of the Premier League on Christmas Day. City have previously done so in 2011-12 and 2017-18 and went onto win the title in each campaign.
  • Kevin De Bruyne has scored an unrivalled 20 Premier League goals from outside the penalty area since making his debut in September 2015.
  • If Newcastle United fail to win against City, they will spend Christmas Day in the relegation zone for the first time in their Premier League history.
  • Newcastle have conceded a joint league-high 75 Premier League goals in 2021. It is the most top-flight goals the Magpies have conceded in a calendar year since letting in 78 in 1966.
  • They could go six home games unbeaten against the reigning champions for the first time since 1996.
  • Newcastle can win back-to-back home fixtures in the Premier League for the first time in a year.
  • Eddie Howe has lost all 10 games against Manchester City - the longest 100% losing record of any Premier League manager against the same opponent.
  • Calum Wilson can become the first Newcastle player to score in three consecutive Premier League home matches since Yoan Gouffran in 2013.

Man City app coverage

As always, the official Man City app will offer comprehensive matchday coverage across the afternoon.

Our Matchday Centre gets under way at 12pm, bringing you detailed preview material, stats and analysis prior to kick-off, as well as minute-by-minute updates once the game begins.

You can also tune in to Matchday Live, our City-focused show, from 1pm, with special guests Paul Dickov and Joleon Lescott providing their expert insight before, during and after the action at St. James’ Park.

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From kick-off, live commentary with Alistair Mann and Michael Brown can also be found on the Man City app.

You can also make sure you don’t miss a beat by turning on push notifications, meaning you’ll be the first to know when the team is announced and when any goals go in.

But our extensive coverage doesn’t end there, with a comprehensive match report, reaction from Pep Guardiola and players, as well as highlights of the action all available across the afternoon.

And CITY+ subscribers who missed or simply want to relive the game in full can enjoy a full-match replay from midnight.

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