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Premier League

  • 26 December 2010
  • • 15:00
  • • St. James' Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
  • Referee: C. Foy
  • • Attendance: 51675
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Newcastle United - Manchester City Preview: Joey Barton hopes to get right result against former club

Newcastle United - Manchester City Preview: Joey Barton hopes to get right result against former club

TEAM NEWS

Newcastle United


Veteran defender Sol Campbell is expected to return for the Boxing Day clash from a virus he picked up last week.

Shola Ameobi is out with a hamstring injury and will not be expected back until at least the start of the New Year. Young striker Niall Ranger will be given the opportunity to impress his new boss. Otherwise there are no fresh injury concerns for Newcastle boss Alan Pardew.

Possible starting XI: Krul; Simpson, S Taylor, Campbell, Enrique; Routledge, Barton, Tiote, Gutierrez; Carroll, Ranger


Manchester City

Kolo Toure will miss the match at St James’ Park after he received his marching orders for two bookings in the space of a minute against Everton in Monday's 2-1 defeat.

Roberto Mancini might be keen to bench Mario Balotelli for this match after the Italian's outburst to the media during the week claiming that he was better than Cesc Fabregas and Wayne Rooney after winning Young European Player of the Year.

The Citizens' boss will want to make sure his young protege keeps his feet on the ground, if that is possible, and remained focus on what matters - his football.

This could see the return of striker Jo who has been frozen out recently at Eastlands.

Possible starting XI: Hart; Zabaleta, Boateng, Kompany,Kolarov; Barry, Silva, Johnson, Yaya Toure; Tevez, Jo


No time for sentiment for former Citizen Barton

Manager Alan Pardew will be delighted with the news that Barton has publicly stated that he is very happy at the club. Earlier this week there was speculation about his future and indeed prolific goalscorer Andy Carroll and midfielder Kevin Nolan.

But this week the new manager insisted that these players would not be going anywhere as he bids to send the Toon back up the Premier League.

Barton himself faces his former team but has said there will be no sentiment when they meet on Boxing Day and he certainly will not be wanting his old team to grab the three points in this match.

Pardew got off to a great start as Newcastle manager winning 3-1 against Liverpool in his first game in charge.  With the Birmingham City match postponed due to the severe weather conditions, his second game will certainly be no easier.

Roberto Mancini hoping to put Everton defeat behind him

The Blues boss will be disappointed after his side’s 2-1 defeat at home to Everton which with a win could have seen them go top of the league at Christmas time for the first time since 1921.

However, Tim Cahill and Leighton Baines spoiled City'a Christmas party in a whirlwind first 20 minutes which saw the Toffees storm to a 2-0 lead. A solitary reply from a deflected Yaya Toure shot midway through the second half after the visitors has been reduced to ten men gave City a lifeline but the away side held on for a crucial three points and only their fourth win of the season.

This defeat will have not have gone down well at Eastlands and Mancini knows that any more slip-ups could prove costly if his side are to be in the running for the Premier League at the end of the season.

City will be quietly confident of picking up a good result on Boxing Day. They are undefeated in their last five away games in all competitions and have not lost the last three in this fixture but they will have to keep Barton and Carroll quiet to continue this record.

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Players to watch

J. Barton

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

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The midfielder has his off the field problems but it looks like he is settling down at the Toon quite nicely. He put in a man of the match performance against Liverpool and will be looking for the same sort of the performance in this match. He is a tough player to handle, good on the ball and has an abundance of determination.

C. Tévez

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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The striker has scored ten goals this season and when he is playing well Manchester City usually end up winning. He is without doubt he is their most important player and the news that he is committed the club can only be a good thing for the Citizens.

Editor's Prediction

City's recent disappointing loss to Everton deprived them of the opportunity to go top of the table, but Mancini's side are undefeated in their last 5 away games and will be hoping to continue in a similar vein at St James' Park. Newcastle for their part come fresh off the back of an impressive victory against Liverpool. A draw looks like a good bet in what should be an absorbing encounter.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Newcastle United

Manchester City

Wins
0
0
5
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Newcastle United FC NEW
Newcastle United FC Newcastle United
Draw
Manchester City FC MNC
Manchester City FC Manchester City
32%
16%
52%

Top 3 Predictions

Newcastle United FC NEW
1 - 2
Manchester City FC MNC
Newcastle United FC NEW
2 - 1
Manchester City FC MNC
Newcastle United FC NEW
0 - 2
Manchester City FC MNC

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