Manchester City could open up a three-point gap to Liverpool in the Premier League if they can return to win against Newcastle today.
City suffered a heartbreaking Champions League exit against Real Madrid on Wednesday, but received a Premier League boost on Saturday as Liverpool could only play a draw with Tottenham. Liverpool are ahead of City in the table with a goal difference after playing one more game, so City can move three points ahead and try to improve their goal difference this afternoon.
However, Pep Guardiola could do without Kyle Walker and John Stones for this game. Walker limped off in Madrid and had an ice pack around his ankle while the Stones traveled but was not fit enough to join the squad. Kevin De Bruyne was replaced, but Guardiola confirmed that there were no injury problems for the Belgian.
After 120 tiring minutes in Spain, Guardiola was able to make changes to ensure his City squad is fresh against a Newcastle squad that could welcome striker Callum Wilson back from injury.
Follow below for pre-match build-up, live match updates and post-match reaction from Etihad.
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35 ‘- City 1-0 NewcastleJoe Bray
De Bruyne denied assisting hat-trick
33 ‘- City 1-0 NewcastleJoe Bray
That would have been a great goal.
One-touch pass sees Aleks Zinchenko run over the ball, where Kevin De Bruyne finds his run. The cross is along the goal, but just too far in front of Gabriel Jesus. Close.
31 ‘- City 1-0 NewcastleJoe Bray
Ilkay Gundogan aims from 25 yards and it flies just wide.
Then Bruno Guimaraes receives a yellow card for a late slide tackle on Jack Grealish earlier in a row with advantage game.
25 ‘- City 1-0 NewcastleJoe Bray
Cancelo forces the rescue
A good run on the inside from Joao Cancelo is picked up by Raheem Sterling. The shot from an angle is knocked out to the corner kick.
25 ‘- City 1-0 NewcastleKEY EVENT
See Sterling’s goals
As it stands, he is three points ahead at the top of the league.
23 ‘- City 1-0 NewcastleJoe Bray
Get rid of it!
Newcastle have the ball in the net after a bit of pinball in the box from a corner, Chris Wood with the finish, but the flag is up after the hit Bruno Guimaraes.
22 ‘- City 1-0 NewcastleSimon Bajkowski
What is Newcastle doing now?
Newcastle had started well and had actually seen more of the ball than City, but they had been surpassed by quality beyond their control.
The question for them now is whether they stay bold and try to go toe-to-toe with City, or do they have to sit back and be more conservative to stay in the competition.
21 ‘- City 1-0 NewcastleJoe Bray
18 ‘- City 1-0 NewcastleKEY EVENT
There’s the breakthrough!
Ilkay Gundogan hits the back post, Joao Cancelo heads back across goal and Raheem Sterling dives into the head in a deserved opening.
18 ‘- City 0-0 NewcastleSimon Bajkowski
De Bruyne runs the show
City’s strategy is, and should remain, to get the ball to De Bruyne. He has been denied two assists so far from wild finishes from Laporte and Cancelo, but is wreaking havoc among the Newcastle defense.
15 ‘- City 0-0 NewcastleJoe Bray
cancel flames wide
Kevin De Bruyne curls a nice post to the back post where Joao Cancelo runs in. It is on half volley and not easy to control and Cancelo flames high and wide.
12 ‘- City 0-0 NewcastleSimon Bajkowski
Cancelo can fight
Joao Cancelo has his hands full in trying to keep a lid on Allan Saint-Maximin. The Newcastle striker may limit Cancelo to come forward today because he is a real threat on the counter.
12 ‘- City 0-0 NewcastleStuart Brennan
Nothing is guaranteed
City on the front foot, but all a little too hectic – and worryingly enough, they have twice been hard exposed on the counter. How Chris Wood failed to score without seeing the city’s markers is anyone’s guess.
At this rate, the title race is far from over.
9 ‘- City 0-0 NewcastleJoe Bray
Over the bar!
Now City should score.
From a corner, Aymeric Laporte gets away from Dan Burn and can volley it, but he leans back and fires it over.
8 ‘- City 0-0 NewcastleJoe Bray
A better post from Allan Saint-Maximin there and there was a man unmarked in the box at the break. Joao Cancelo cuts it out, but Saint-Maximin gets the chance to cross again.
This one is better and it’s on the head of Chris Wood for a free header six yards out. He steers it down and directly towards Ederson, as he really should put it away.
6 ‘- City 0-0 NewcastleJoe Bray
No worries about a flat atmosphere
5 ‘- City 0-0 NewcastleJoe Bray
Wide from De Bruyne
Kevin De Bruyne curls the free kick over the wall, but far from the nearest post.
4 ‘- City 0-0 NewcastleJoe Bray
Raheem Sterling almost writhes through the box, but Newcastle stops him. Then Jack Grealish does well to regain possession of the ball outside the box, takes a pair and wins a free kick just outside the box to the left.
2 ‘- City 0-0 NewcastleSimon Bajkowski
Light start on and off the field
City has started well and is being whipped up by a very loud Etihad. There is a lot of noise from the outside fans, but the home fans put in the extra as they try to lift the team after Wednesday’s defeat.
1 ‘- City 0-0 NewcastleJoe Bray
The players take the knee and we are on our way.
Full story: Pep reacts to Liverpool draw
Pep Guardiola insists nothing has changed in the Premier League title race despite Liverpool losing points to Tottenham on Saturday
Guardiola have been aware that City’s goal is to take maximum points from all their remaining Premier League matches, knowing that such a race would guarantee the title. However, after Liverpool’s draw against Spurs, they would open a three-point lead at the top of the table if City beat Newcastle, with three games left and a minimum of equal goal difference.
It would allow City to have some leeway in these three games, but Guardiola was aware that Liverpool’s result would not change his message to his players.
In a speech to Sky Sports, Guardiola said: “By winning or losing or drawing Liverpool, nothing changes in the fact that we have to win our matches.”
Read the full story here.
The teams are out
Here come the teams where the home fans give their side a warm reception.
Guardiola responds to Liverpool draw
Respite on offer
Liverpool’s draw means City may have something they haven’t enjoyed in a while: respite. A win over Newcastle takes them three points ahead, meaning they can afford a draw from their last three games, while also being able to work on their goal difference today if all goes well, meaning they could potentially lose one of the three and still win. title.
It really is theirs to lose now.
Jesus is the man of the moment
City warmer in new jerseys
City are warming up with a look of an Argentine side while wearing the new Sergio Aguero ’93: 20 ‘anniversary jerseys, which show THE goal frame for picture on a limited edition jersey.
Pep takes his usual place crouched in the excavation. There is a packed section of VIP supporters next to the pitch, all watching the training while the players warm up.
Guardiola in defiant mood this week
Guardiola gave City fans plenty to enjoy at his press conference on Friday, rejecting some of the strangest criticisms of his team from the Real Madrid match before launching a solid defense of the club’s owners and bringing the hypocrisy up in where the money comes from . the league and pointed out that he still remembers the eight clubs that tried to keep City out of Europe before CAS overturned their decision.
However, the manager wants to know that he is far better at relying on results on the court to keep everyone happy than soundbites at press conferences.
Great opportunity for Grealish
Jack Grealish was the player who was asked to front media assignments after the heartbreaking Champions League exit to Real Madrid, and it is interesting that Guardiola has approached him to start today.
He had two excellent chances from the bench at the Bernabeu, which was cleared by the line, but still had to endure some hard headlines after the match. But he may have recovered better than some others who have had to endure more pain in that competition.
Grealish will use Madrid as motivation
Jack Grealish says Wednesday’s defeat should give City the motivation to respond today.
“That’s what we’re here to do. That’s why, in my opinion, we are the best team in the Premier League because we want to win things. We put that pressure on ourselves to constantly win trophies and the club as whole has done so especially the last ten years.
“We have the Premier League to go and play for now. It’s in our hands. We have four important matches on the way and we will give it our all in all those matches and we cross our fingers that we can end up lifting it. , because the fight the other night definitely gives us more of an advantage to go and do it. “
About the Real Madrid defeat, he said:
“I have lost quite a few finals in my time and a few important matches and it was right up there. That was just how we went out so late. Here in the City, one thing that I have realized is that you have so many fights coming thick and fast, such important fights.
“So you do not really have time to dwell on things. We just have to dust ourselves off and get back together as a unit as we have done the last few days and get ready to go again.”
Are you looking forward to Wolves?
The City team has a nod to Wednesday night at the Wolves, with Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez all held back.
Rodri is the man who keeps being asked to dig deep, which reinforces the need for another deep-seated midfielder in the summer.
The Spanish star has started the last five games for the Blues and has not had much rest – he was taken out ten minutes into extra time at the Bernabeu in midweek.