Friday, 29 March 2013

Match Preview: Manchester City vs Newcastle

Aguero set to return after injury

By Aaron Leggott

After missing the last three weeks of action through injury, City are ready to welcome back Sergio Aguero to the starting eleven after he recovered from the knee problem that kept him out.

There will also be a late fitness test for captain Vincent Kompany, who despite missing the past eight weeks, was picked to represent his country midweek as Belgium beat Macedonia 1-0. 

Considering he was out for so long, the decision taken by the Belgian boss Marc Wilmots hasn't been taken kindly by Roberto Mancini.
The City boss angered by the choice and rightly so, considering the seriousness of the injury and the fact that Manchester City pay his wages. 

Ahead of the game, Mancini admitted that the Premier League title was now out of City's reach, but that doesn't mean that he wants the players' heads to go down.

With Chelsea and Tottenham both on our tails in third and fourth respectively, a strong finish to the season is imperative in a campaign which has been full of disappointments.

The biggest games in City's season will start in two weeks time, as the Blues will play either Chelsea or Manchester United in the FA Cup semi final, but a strong team is expected to be selected for tomorrow's game.

With an important Europa League tie next week coming up, Newcastle will probably look to rest a few key faces, but with a number of injuries to deal with, big changes are unlikely.

Full backs Mathieu Debuchy, Davide Santon and Massadio Haidara are all injured and Chieck Tiote will also sit on the sidelines due to a hamstring injury. 

It will be a tough game for City with Newcastle's recent defensive record but you'd fully expect the Blues to come out with a win and keep Chelsea at arms length with a Manchester Derby up next in the league.

My thoughts

This game feels like an anti-climax after our defeat at Goodison Park before the international break. I think that there were still a number of fans who believed we could turn around a 12 point gap. However, 15 points is just impossible and Mancini summed up the thoughts of all connected with City during his pre match conference yesterday.

The game against Everton was extremely disappointing. I was there and there were a number of players who contributed the square root of nothing. It was the lack of effort which frustrated me more than anything. 

We can always blame the referee for failing to award us with a (stone wall) penalty but at the end of the day, there was no fight in that team - especially surprising considering the gap between us and United.

Anyway, onwards and upwards. I would happily take the FA Cup and second place right now, and look to take the title back next season. I think we'll see a lot of departures during the summer, and in honesty we need to bring in key players. 

I will look at a list of potential key players that could come to the Etihad in a post next week.

Prediction: 3-0 City

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(c) The Sky Blue View 2013

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