Both these teams produced crucial 3-0 wins at the weekend when they needed them most but both seasons remain on a knifepoint and any further slips could spell trouble. Newcastle are still three points from safety but this is their game in hand on Norwich.
Man City, meanwhile, have moved up to third on the back of three consecutive wins but given they still have some tricky games remaining, in particular the meeting with Arsenal on the 8th May, while juggling Champions League commitments, means they are far from secure in the top four.
Man Utd have an easier run-in and should they win their remaining five games then one of Arsenal or City would need to drop at least five points to let them in – with at least one of those sides guaranteed to drop two or three points when they meet they wont want to make any mistakes prior to that.
With just one defeat in six home games, and three in 13, Newcastle are sure to be fully committed for this game and look capable of putting up a good fight on the evidence of last weekend. They’ve beaten both West Ham and Liverpool here while picking up a point against Man Utd and they’ve only failed to score in one of their last nine matches at St James’ Park.
Man City won the first meeting between these teams this season 6-1 when Sergio Aguero scored five times in 20 minutes and they were 5-0 winners in the previous meeting. In fact City have won all of the last 10 league games between the two sides by more than one goal with seven of the matches having at least four goals. City certainly look to be over their mid-season inertia, with Kevin de Bruyne returning to full fitness to inspire an attack that had previously looked ponderous and ineffective. This season they’ve scored 2.05 goals per game in the Belgian’s 19 starts but just 1.20 gpg in the 10 matches he’s missed since joining the club. However, they are still a hard team to put a lot of faith in after their performances for much of this campaign and they’ve won only four of 11 trips to bottom-six teams since 2013/14.
We quite like Both Teams to Score here at 1.75 but with the Magpies fighting hard and aware that if they fall behind they must avoid a heavy defeat, with goal difference very tight between the relegation contenders, we don’t expect a goal rush either. Six of Newcastle’s last eight home games against top-six teams have had exactly 2-3 goals, as has this fixture in three of the last four seasons, and it’s 2.1 to happen again.
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