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Manchester City v Newcastle preview: Citizens to strut past Magpies

Manchester City and Newcastle's campaigns look to be heading in opposite directions and there could be more pain for the Magpies on Saturday.

Eddie Howe's side lost last Sunday's EFL Cup final 2-0 to Manchester United to extend their winless run in all competitions to four matches and find themselves outside the Premier League's top four. 

In contrast, City have lost just one of their last 10 in all competitions, beating Bristol City 3-0 in the FA Cup on Tuesday, but need to keep getting results after Arsenal's 4-0 victory against Leicester restored the Gunners' five-point lead at the top. 

Newcastle, meanwhile, failed to win in February and have an atrocious record at the Etihad and they face a mighty battle in Manchester.

WhatManchester City v Newcastle
WhereEtihad Stadium, Newcastle
When12:30, Saturday 4th March
How to watchBT Sport 1
OddsManchester City 4/9, Draw 7/2, Newcastle 6/1

City starting to shine 

Questions have been asked of Pep Guardiola this season and the jury remains out regarding whether or not he has found the answers, with Erling Haaland's role in the side still criticised in some quarters, despite the Norwegian netting 33 times in all competitions this season. 

Phil Foden was the star on Tuesday at Ashton Gate, netting twice and the Citizens arguably looked more fluid with Julian Alvarez leading the line and Haaland an unused substitute. 

The Norwegian is sure to return on Saturday and looks likely to spearhead a victory for his side, who are just 4/9 in the Full Time Result market. 

History is also on City's side, with them never having lost at home in the league to Newcastle, winning the last three Etihad meetings by an aggregate score of 12-0. 

Despite their recent woes, the Magpies still have by far the best defensive record in the Premier League and can call upon Nick Pope. 

The goalkeeper was shown a straight red against Liverpool but only received a one-game ban as his dismissal was not due to violent conduct. 

Pope's return is a boost for Howe's side but City look to be moving through the gears and they have extra motivation with Arsenal's form hinting that they will not be allowed anymore slip-ups if they want to retain their league title. 

However, with defensive doubts over John Stones and Ayermic Laporte due to injuries, Guardiola may again have to get creative with a rearguard that has not kept a clean sheet in its last five Premier League matches, making the home win and both to score viable at 11/5.

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Haaland to prove his point 

It is incredible how the presence of a player with 33 goals already in a single season can be seen as causing an issue for his side but that is the situation Haaland finds himself in. 

The 22-year-old's numbers are magnificent but might mask that his time at the Etihad has not always been easy and the predicted issues in fitting him into the side have come to fruition. 

Haaland scored for just the second time in seven matches in last Saturday's 4-1 win at Bournemouth but will relish the physical battle likely to be presented by Fabian Schar, Sven Botman and Dan Burn. 

In the air or on the ground, he is a brilliant player and is 4/6 as an Anytime Goalscorer and 3/1 in the Multi Scorers market, having scored 2 or More on nine occasions this season.

De Bruyne can star against an old foe

Another City player to watch is Kevin De Bruyne, who has historically been a thorn in Newcastle's side, providing seven Premier League assists against them and scoring three times. 

The Belgian's 12 assists this season, including one in August's 3-3 draw, have moved him onto 98 career Premier League assists, tantalisingly close to becoming the fifth play to make it into treble figures in that metric. 

De Bruyne is 11/8 to record over 0.5 assists in the game, while he is 13/5 as one of the Anytime Goalscorers. 

His exploits could help the game open out and it is intriguing to note that five of the last six meetings have produced over 3.5 goals, available at 7/4, could be an option, especially with City's recent defensive woes.

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