Venue: Sports Direct Arena
Kick-off:13:30 GMT on May 06, 2012
The 2011-12 season has been the most keenly-fought of all the Barclays Premier League seasons. Though the crown is likely to be claimed by one of the two Manchester clubs, there is still no clear winner with City ahead of United only on goal difference and each club has just two games left to play! The fight for the all-important third and fourth place has become nerve-wracking, with Newcastle United, Arsenal, Spurs and Chelsea, all in contention. Newcastle play host to Manchester City on Sunday in a game that could only be described as monumental.
Man City have to win this game if they wish to capture the title from Man United, given that the Red Devils have easier games left to play, compared with Mancini’s men. Having recaptured the top spot after beating Sir Alex’s boys 1-0 at home, City face a tough task away to Newcastle. The Magpies, who achieved a surprise victory against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, would be equally desperate for a win as they hope to achieve Champions League qualification next season. The previous league encounter between the two saw City romp home with a comfortable 3-1 win. Will Alan Pardew’s wards utilize their home advantage and make amends for that loss? Or will Mancini’s expensively assembled squad continue with its fine form and dispatch the Magpies? One can only wait and watch!!!
City’s keeper Hart is in a race against time to recover from the ankle injury he suffered due to a collision with Chris Smalling in the previous game. City’s back-four comprising Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott and Clichy is arguably the best in the league, having conceded a solitary goal in their last four games. Barry and Toure, who are so dominant in the mid-field, should feature in the starting XI. City’s attack, led by Argentine forward Tevez and ably supported by Nasri, Aguero and Silva, has not only been cohesive but also menacing. Overall, Mancini would start with the same team that faced United last week.
City’s probable lineup (4-2-3-1): Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Toure, Barry, Silva, Nasri, Aguero, Tevez
Alan Pardew faces a couple of injury concerns as Steven Taylor, Gabriel Obertan and Danny Guthrie remain in the sidelines. The Magpies’ attack is led by Senegalese striker Papiss Cisse, who scored the winner against Chelsea in the last game. Gutierrez and Tiote face a daunting task in the central mid-field as they aim to match City’s attack. After conceding four goals against Wigan, Newcastle’s defence comprising Santon, Coloccini, Williamson and Simpson put up an exceptional show to keep a clean-sheet at the Bridge.
Newcastle United’s probable line-up (4-4-2): Krul, Santon, Coloccini, Williamson, Gutierrez, Tiote, Cabaye, Demba Ba, Ben Arfa, Cissse.
Author’s prediction: Newcastle 1 Man. City 2
About the Author (Author Profile)
Gokul is a software professional from Chennai, India. An avid sports fan, he is a keen follower of Cricket, Football, Hockey, Tennis and Formula One. He styles his articles as razor-edge analyses of all the hot and happening events in the field of sports.