Paul Merson has been looking ahead to Wednesday night at St James Park.
Newcastle playing Manchester City twice, only 24 days apart.
On Saturday they made it 101 Premier League goals in December but how many will they end up altogether? Playing Newcastle and then Crystal Palace on New Year’s Eve.
Paul Merson says that Rafa’s team ‘had a massive football result at West Ham’ but predictably says Manchester City will be a slightly different proposition.
He reckons ‘City will beat better teams than Newcastle by more than 4-0’, so on that basis, Merson is surprisingly generous in predicting ‘only’ a four goal defeat for the Magpies.
The Sky Sports pundit believes that ‘City will just rip them apart’ and that tactics of sitting with ’10 men behind the ball’ will do Newcastle no good.
Newcastle fans will see this game as a free hit, especially after getting the vital win at West Ham.
The last encounter between the two teams was an excellent 1-1 draw as Rafa Benitez had got his feet under the table and Vurnon Anita’s goal earned a point in the 2015/16 run-in. Maybe another surprise hero once again this time…
At this point in time maybe best not to dwell too much on the previous encounter, when Manchester scored six in 20 minutes at the Etihad, Sergio Aguero grabbing five of them.
Paul Merson speaking to Sky Sports:
“Man City played in second gear and still beat Bournemouth 4-0 on Saturday!
“They won 4-0 in second gear, so I am going to go for another 4-0 win.
“I think City will just rip them apart and Newcastle have had their result (beating West Ham).
“The problem is that Newcastle will sit 10 men behind the ball, but you are going to get broken down though before the end of the game.
“And City are just relentless, relentless, but it is no disrespect to Newcastle, who had a massive football result at West Ham on Saturday, but City will beat better teams than Newcastle by more than 4-0.
“Prediction is Newcastle 0 Manchester City 4.”
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