Newcastle face a huge game at St James’ Park as they take on Manchester City on Saturday as they look to correct their poor form against the Premier League Champions.
With the game live on Sky Sports at 5:30, it’s sure to be a great atmosphere under the lights in the North East as Eddie Howe’s players look to build on their comprehensive win over Sunderland in the FA Cup.
Newcastle ended 2023 in concerning form having lost five of their last six Premier League games, dropping down to ninth in the Premier League table.
But that morale-boosting FA Cup third-round win over the Black Cats is sure to give Howe’s players confidence going into the game.
Manchester City though are the toughest of opponent coming into the game. Since the FIFA Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia, they’ve beaten Everton and Sheffield United in the league, as well as a 5-0 win over Huddersfield in the FA Cup.
Isak in form
The Magpies have eased the pressure on boss Howe with a commanding 3-0 victory over local rivals Sunderland last week, with Alexander Isak netting twice after Dan Ballard put through his own net for the Black Cats.
It means Swedish international Isak has now scored in three straight games for the second time this campaign, giving him plenty of confidence going into the game against the Champions.
While spirits may be high though after recording their first Tyne-Wear derby win since August 2011, they suffered yet another injury blow at the Stadium of Light.
Joelinton sustained a thigh injury which has ruled him out for the next six weeks. The Brazilian joins Jacob Murphy, Callum Wilson, Joe Willock, Harvey Barnes, Elliot Anderson, Matt Targett and Nick Pope on a lengthy injury list.
Whilst a win might not be the expectation for Newcastle, a defeat could mount the pressure on Howe if poor form continues.