Man City takes on Newcastle United on Saturday night in an attempt to make the most of their only opportunity to play as a top four team this weekend.
If Pep Guardiola’s team beats Newcastle, they can move up to second place in the Premier League standings, above Aston Villa. City will find it challenging to travel to St. James’ Park because they have already suffered a loss there in the Carabao Cup this season.
The world champions have won seven of their last eight games and are finally starting to welcome back important players from injuries after a disappointing run at the end of November and the beginning of December, even by their normal standards.
Last Saturday, Kevin De Bruyne played in the FA Cup against Huddersfield Town, marking his eagerly anticipated comeback from injury. For the second half of the season, the Belgian playmaker will be eager to get back to his best after surviving a half-hour cameo.
De Bruyne won’t likely start this weekend for Guardiola in the starting lineup. The City manager stated that a start at Newcastle is out of the question and that the plan is still to gradually get him back into action.
On Sunday, Jeremy Doku made his comeback to the Citizens lineup and scored the team’s sixth goal against the Terriers. The quick winger has been sidelined due to a muscle issue, but in order to prevent further damage, his spot in the starting lineup this weekend may be postponed.
Erling Haaland is the player about whom City supporters will all be praying for positive news. After missing time due to a foot ailment, the striker has resumed first team training.
When Guardiola speaks to the media on Friday, the Norwegian striker’s availability is likely to be the main topic of conversation. The 23-year-old will be looking to assist City get back to the top of the table. He hasn’t played since the loss at Aston Villa at the beginning of December.
John Stones will not play in the match due to an ankle injury he sustained against Everton, while City will be hoping Manuel Akanji‘s knock from the previous weekend is not too serious.
Due to illness, Bernardo Silva and Kalvin Phillips were unable to play in the Huddersfield victory; however, they may be added to the matchday roster this coming weekend.