Your teams in black and white
Man City Ederson; Walker, Akanji, Dias, Ake; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan, Foden, Haaland, Grealish.
Substitutes Ortega, Lewis, Stones, Laporte, Phillips, , Bernardo Silva, Mahrez, Palmer, Alvarez.
Newcastle Pope; Trippier, Lascelles, Botman, Burn; Longstaff, Bruno Guimaraes, Joelinton; Almiron, Wilson, Gordon.
Substitutes Dubravka, Ritchie, Targett, Manquillo, Willock, Anderson, Murphy, Saint-Maximin, Isak.
Referee Simon Hooper (Wiltshire).
Pope returns, Lascelles and Gordon start
City do go for De Bruyne/Rodri/Gundogan
🔵 TEAM NEWS 🔵
XI | Ederson, Walker, Akanji, Dias, Ake, Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Gundogan (C), Foden, Grealish, Haaland
SUBS | Ortega Moreno, Phillips, Stones, Laporte, Alvarez, Bernardo, Mahrez, Palmer, Lewis#ManCity | @HaysWorldwide pic.twitter.com/DVUylaQqd1
— Manchester City (@ManCity) March 4, 2023
Preview: Guardiola’s midfield conundrum
Good afternoon and welcome to coverage of the early kick-off between second-placed Manchester City, five points behind Arsenal, and fifth-placed Newcastle United, four points behind Tottenham but with two games in hand. It’s also, of course, the Gulf derby, lest we forget … at least until Qatar completes its Premier League trolley dash.
City bounced back from their chastening draw with Nottingham Forest to dispatch Bournemouth with clinical precision last week while Newcastle, the limitations of whose squad have begun to show, are looking for only their second victory in the last eight. Eddie Howe, all can agree, has done a marvellous job in taking them from bottom place 13 months ago with some canny signings but it won’t be long before expectation outstrips gratitude. Not that Newcastle fans are impatient but their owners just might be. No doubt that his one world-class signing, Bruno Guimaraes, has been a great success and the sterling renovation jobs he has performed on Fabian Schar, Miguel Almiron and Joelinton, demonstrate what an excellent coach he is. But the next phase of his job will be singing upgrades in a couple of positions and how he handles them will be his next hurdle. So far so good, though.
As for City, Pep Guardiola seems uncharacteristically restless with his midfield which ahs long been the source of City’s slickness and success. It will be interesting to see which combination he goes for today. Ilkay Gundogan, Rodri and Kevin De Bruyne were sent out to face Arsenal and came up trumps. Time for that trio to start again today?
Aymeric Laporte has been ill but has not been ruled out yet while John Stones is back in training and could appear on the bench. Bruno Guimaraes has been passed fit for the visitors who are without long-term absentees Emil Krafth Ryan Fraser.