Pep: ‘our character should not be questioned’
Check out Pep Guardiola’s pre match press conference ahead of Manchester City’s Premier League clash with Newcastle. The Spanish manager reflects on his teams exit from the Champions League at the hands of Real Madrid.
Manchester City vs Newcastle: Line-ups
City Need to Keep the Pressure on Liverpool
At the time of writing, the Citizens are positioned at the summit, sitting one point clear of quadruple-chasing Liverpool in second, and victory in each of their final four league fixtures will see them crowned as champions for the fourth time in five years.
City will be confident of success on Sunday as they have lost only one of their last 28 league games against Newcastle, winning each of their last 12 on home soil in the process. Guardiola’s men have had no problems finding the net in the Premier League, scoring 16 times in their last five outings. City have also scored 17 in their last five league encounters against the Magpies so they will be hoping for more joy in front of goal this weekend.
Fears of relegation are long gone and a top 10 finish – which was unthinkable earlier this season – is now a distinct possibility for the Magpies, who currently sit 10th in the table and 11 points clear of the drop zone.
Victories in April against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Leicester City, Crystal Palace and Norwich City have seen Newcastle catapult up the table, but they were unable to claim a fifth successive victory last weekend as they were condemned to a slender 1-0 loss at home to Liverpool. That defeat at St James’ Park was in fact their first in the league on home soil since losing 4-0 to Man City back in December.
The Magpies will be keen to return to winning ways on Sunday, and while victory would do Jurgen Klopp’s side a huge favour in the title race, Howe will be mindful of the threat a fired-up Man City outfit will pose, as he has lost all 11 of his Premier League meetings against them, the worst 100% losing record a manager has against a single opponent in the competition. Alan Shearer was the hero the last time Newcastle claimed maximum points away at City, helping his beloved Newcastle claim a narrow 1-0 win back in September 2000.
While Man City may feel physically and mentally fatigued following their midweek efforts in Europe, Guardiola will want his players to treat each of the last four league fixtures as a final and put all their remaining energy into claiming maximum points on Sunday as they bid to finish the weekend at the summit. Newcastle have struggled for a number of years when facing City on the road, and although their form has improved since the arrival of Howe, we cannot look past the Citizens claiming maximum points even if they decide to rotate their squad from midweek.