Premier League Preview: Manchester City - Newcastle United

You've got to spend money to make money

To the surprise of absolutely no-one, Manchester City today announced they had made losses of a whopping £121 million in the last financial year. A collective "is that it?" swept across the rest of England but if Roberto Mancini's team continue their impressive start to the season, City fans may well consider it money well spent.

City lie fourth in the Premier League - having beaten reigning champions Chelsea - and are top of their Europa League group. Mancini has asked for six months before he is judged on his tenure, but if City win a European trophy and finish in the Premier League top four it will probably be considered a success.

They were perhaps lucky to come away from their clash with Juventus on Thursday with a point after Alex Del Piero's free-kick came crashing down off the underside of the bar and bounced on the line, but City have proved that they can kick it with the big boys so far this season. Which is probably the least fans would expect about shelling out more than £100m on new talent.

A home match against Newcastle should be a home banker, although the Magpies have already proved they are no push overs with wins at Chelsea and (admittedly lackluster) Everton. City, though, will be banking on a home win.

Hughton, we have a problem

Newcastle might be looking rather healthy this season, but their record at City is not great. They haven't won at their opponents since 2000, when the Citizens played at Maine Road, and haven't won against the Sky Blues anywhere since 2005.

But they hadn't won at Everton either before last week's 1-0 victory. Having said that, Man City aren't struggling at the foot of the table, but still the Magpies will be buoyed by recent performances.

And that will be no coincidence that former England defender Sol Campbell is back in first-team football after his free transfer move to St James' Park. The 36-year-old will have a tough time keeping Carlos Tevez quiet on Sunday, but stranger things have happened. Like the Argentinian's shin pad celebrations for example.


Manchester City

Mancini will be without Pablo Zabaleta after the full-back strained a hamstring during the 1-1 draw with Juve on Thursday. Dedryck Boyata and Joleon Lescott can expect to be called upon as a result.

David Silva, James Milner and Nigel de Jong will all hope for a place in the starting XI after starting the Juve draw. Wayne Bridge, Mario Balotelli, Micah Richards and Aleksandar Kolarov are all still longer term absentees.

Possible lineup: Hart, Kompany, Kolo Toure, Boyata, Lescott, De Jong, Yaya Toure, Barry, Johnson, Tevez, Adebayor.


Campbell's thigh injury is not serious enough to keep him out of action, after he missed the home defeat to Stoke last week.

Tim Krul will continue in goal while Steve Harper continues to recover from his shoulder injury while new boy Dan Gosling is another long term squad member missing.

Danny Guthrie (knee) and Danny Simpson are both back in full training and will play for the reserves next week, while Steven Taylor is expected to resume training in a fortnight's time.

Possible lineup: Krul, Ryan Taylor, Enrique, Coloccini, Campbell, Smith, Barton, Gutierrez, Ben Arfa, Nolan, Carroll.

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