Paul Dickov believes City are ideally poised ahead of Saturday’s resumption of our Premier League campaign and backing the reigning champions to kick on in pursuit of what would be an historic fourth straight league title.

Having created English football history by becoming the first side to win all five major trophies in 2023, City began 2024 in fine fashion last Sunday with an emphatic 5-0 FA Cup third round win over Huddersfield Town.

Now the attention switches back to the Premier League with City preparing for Saturday’s big teatime trip to tackle Newcastle United (17.30pm UK).

It’s another testing assignment for Pep Guardiola’s reigning champions with the Magpies set to be backed by a vociferous St James’ Park crowd.

But though acknowledging the size of the immediate challenge, Dickov believes that the advent of the New Year is traditionally the time when Guardiola’s squad properly click into gear and says he is ‘loving the way City look right now.’


“It’s our time of year when that momentum starts and people begin looking over their shoulders,” declared special guest Dickov on the latest edition of Matchday Live.

“But going to St James’ Park on Saturday will be tough. When you have players like Anthony Issak, Anthony Gordon, Bruno Guimaraes, Joelinton, especially at their place, it is going to be tough but I’m loving the way we look at the minute.

“We look so consistent and the best thing about it is that I think there is still so much more to come.

“This time last year we were further behind [to Arsenal in the title race].

“We don’t want to rush Kevin [De Bruyne] back too soon but to have him and Jeremy Doku fit again and with John Stones and Erling Haaland also to return there really is a feel-good factor.

“We don’t want to get too carried away but there is that momentum building, and I still feel we have to best to come.

“That may not be until March or April but as long we are there or thereabouts, I’ll be happy.”


Dickov’s excitement and optimism looking ahead to both the Newcastle trip and the second half of the campaign was echoed by fellow former City icon Andy Morrison.

Like Dickov, Morrison says a trip to tackle Eddie Howe’s impressive side will represent a significant challenge.

However, the former City central defender and skipper said the sense of a feelgood factor surrounding the squad right now was undeniable.

And in Morrison’s view, Pep Guardiola’s squad still have another level to rise to.

“Going to St James’ Park is always difficult,” Morrison pointed out.

“And there were signs at the weekend [in their FA Cup third round win at Sunderland] that Newcastle were just starting to look [a real threat]. They had a few players back; they had a rhythm and they played with more of an intensity.

“It’s always a difficult place to go so it will be a big ask.

“But there is a such a feelgood factor at the moment [about City] with people coming back in and we have John and Erling to come back too, and the squad is so strong.

“I just think there is another gear to go up too and that there is another level to us.

“What we saw last year against Real Madrid, Liverpool and Arsenal at home there is another level we can go to and it’s just bubbling along nicely.”