Mark Lawrenson has looked ahead to tonight’s match at St James Park and picked out two players to keep an eye on.
Sadly neither of them plays for Newcastle United…
The BBC pundit thinks Pellegrini could have produced a masterstroke putting Kevin de Bruyne in the middle behind Sergio Aguero, though he accepts it could also have been by accident.
Whatever the case, that combination has looked real quality and no time more so than on Saturday when de Bruyne ran Chelsea ragged and Aguero was the main beneficiary with a hat-trick.
At the Eithad earlier this season, Newcastle amazingly bossed the first half, one up and it should have been more.
On that day we were outdone by the Manchester City pair who then hit six goals in only 20 minutes, five to Aguero and one to de Bruyne.
Needless to say, defending like that will produce a similar result.
A bit of a change in personnel though, with only Chancel Mbemba set to play tonight, of the back five who started that game at Man City (Krul, Coloccini, Janmaat and Mbabu the other four that day).
Mark Lawrenson basically writes off Newcastle’s win on Saturday as one against ‘a very disinterested Swansea team’ – often teams don’t get the credit when they stop the opposition playing so successfully and that may have been the case in that 3-0 win.
Considering that since Christmas, Swansea were seventh in the form league with seven wins and four draws in 16 games and had beaten Chelsea themselves in the match before meeting Newcastle, United deserve some credit for the clean sheet and eventual three goal margin.
The big hope for Newcastle fans is that this could be a game-changer in terms of giving the team confidence and belief – which could then lead to a result tonight that confounds Mark Lawrenson who has forecast a comfortable 2-0 win for Man City.
Mark Lawrenson speaking to BBC Sport:
“I wonder if Manuel Pellegrini has stumbled on playing Kevin de Bruyne centrally behind Sergio Aguero – or if it was always part of the plan until the Belgium international got injured.
“Whichever it was, De Bruyne looks even better when he plays there, which is saying something.
“Newcastle beat what I thought was a very disinterested Swansea team on Saturday, but City have hit some form and will be completely different proposition.”