By 90Min
December 25, 2017

It does not appear to be case if Manchester City win the league or not, but when. Pep Guardiola's side have truly blown the competition away, and last Saturday's results left them 13 points clear at the halfway point, an all time top flight record. 

Newcastle, meanwhile, finally won for the first time since October, and will hope to take the confidence from Saturday's 3-2 at West Ham into this one.

Here's all you need to know before Wednesday's clash at St James' Park:


Classic Encounter

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Long before the days of Arab money, mid-table City lost an absolute thriller at St James' Park back in October 2004. After a dull first half, Laurent Robert's stunning free kick gave the hosts the lead in the 50th minute, and then a trademark Alan Shearer penalty made it 2-0. However City, managed by former Magpies boss Kevin Keegan, fought back with a lovely solo goal by Shaun Wright-Phillips and then a controversial Robbie Fowler penalty made it 2-2.

The drama continued as Robbie Elliot's strange header made it 3-2, before a second by Wright-Phillips levelled things up with just over 10 minutes left to set up a grand stand finish. However, it was to be future City star, Craig Bellamy, who would have the final say, flicking up an Olivier Bernard pullback and volleying home a superb winner in the 89th minute to seal a 4-3 win for Graeme Souness' side.


Team News

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Newcastle showed great character to come from behind and win at West Ham, their first win since October. Therefore, Rafa Benitez is likely to stick with the same team and has no injury concerns. 

As for Pep Guardiola, John Stones is highly unlikely to be fit in time and Benjamin Mendy is out for the season, so except the same City side that thrashed Bournemouth 4-0.

Potential Newcastle XI: Elliot, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Manqiullo, Ritchie, Saviet, Diame, Atsu, Gayle, Joselu.


Potential Manchester City XI: Ederson, Walker, Kompany, Otamendi, Delph, De Bruyne, Fernandinho, David Silva, Sterling, Aguero, Sane.


Prediction

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Both sides had great Christmases after important wins, and City arrive on Tyneside with 17 straight wins. Newcastle haven't beaten them in the Premier League since September 2005, and that looks unlikely to change here.

Despite the Magpies victory at the London Stadium, there were still weak points at the back and their strikers' inability to finish could come back to haunt them against a side that score loads and concede very few. 

There's a reason Guardiola and his side have run away with it; they have a solid backline and their attack is like something off another planet. Whilst Newcastle have the potential to give the league leaders a tough night, City simply have too much all over the pitch and their incredible winning run will be extended to 18 here.

Prediction: Newcastle 1 - 3 Manchester City

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