Michael Owen has looked ahead to Saturday at the Etihad.

He makes the point that Newcastle United are better on their travels than at St James Park.

He’s almost right, Rafa’s team are actually the same home and away in terms of results, picking up 12 points from 12 games at home, as well as 11 from 11 on their travels.

I think we would all take that being 12 from 12 both home and away by Saturday night.

Newcastle actually have had better results than Manchester City since the teams met at St James Park on 27 December.

Newcastle have picked up five points and Man City only four, a win over Stoke and draws against Swansea and Brighton for NUFC, whilst Guardiola’s team have beaten Watford, lost to Liverpool and drawn with Palace.

After 19 wins and a draw from their first 20 matches, no doubt this loss of form is only temporary for Saturday’s home side.

As for Newcastle, we all hope that eight points from the last 12 (if ignoring Man City) is the onset of some stability and safe passage to avoiding relegation.

Amazingly, as Michael Owen points out, it is 17 years since Newcastle last won three PL away games in a row. December 2001 saw Sir Bobby Robson’s team beat Ipswich, Arsenal and Leeds away from home, the last of those games ensuring Newcastle would be top of the Premier League on Christmas Day.

To make it three PL away wins in a row this time looks a little…difficult, the bookies’ odds of 22/1 for it to happen sum up the scale of the challenge.

Saturday was also the very final deadline when in December Rafa Benitez was asked when he wanted all of his January signings completed by, we of course stand here 18 days into the window with Mike Ashley yet to back him with a single one.

As we suspected, it looks as though Rafa Benitez will have to rely on his current players to lead the club to safety and nobody is more crucial to that than Jamaal Lascelles.

Michael Owen predicts Newcastle will lose by at least three goals but if Jamaal Lascelles is on the pitch we can have every confidence that won’t be the case.

The stats are amazing.

In 17 PL games when he started, Newcastle have conceded 14 goals, in the six matches Lascelles didn’t start NUFC conceded 17 goals.

Newcastle have picked up 22 of their 23 points in games Lascelles started.

Only twice in his 17 starts have Newcastle conceded more than one goal and in those two they won one (West Ham away) and drew one (Southampton away).

Whilst in the 17 starts, Newcastle have never lost by more than a one goal margin.

Newcastle might not be able to go to the Etihad confident of winning but the fans can go confident that they shouldn’t see the team fall apart with Rafa coordinating from the sidelines and Lascelles leading on the pitch.

Michael Owen talking to BetVictor:

“City are unbeaten in their last 20 PL games against Newcastle and I expect Pep Guardiola’s side to bounce back after their Anfield defeat.

“City remain unbeaten in their last 23 home league games but, one could argue that the Magpies are a better side on the road this season than at St James’s Park.

“Rafa Benitez’s side are looking for a third successive away PL win for the first time since 2001 when they were managed by the late great (Sir) Bobby Robson.

“Prediction/Tip is Manchester City -2 on the handicap at 37/40 (Man City need to win by three or more goals).”

Manchester City v Newcastle Match Betting:

Man City win 1/8Draw 19/2 – Newcastle win 22/1

NUFC win 2-0 175/1NUFC to score 2 or more goals 5/1Man City to one or zero goals 22/5

All Manchester City v Newcastle betting HERE

New customers to BetVictor qualify for up to a £40 welcome bonus in free bets.

  • Peaky Magpie

    FFS just when you think things can’t get any worse this week up pops the little money grabbing failed jockey !

    • Whitehurst

      Just need Dennis Wise to chuck his oars worth in now…oh hang on!!

      • Wor Lass

        What`s an oar worth?

        • Kneebotherm8

          Half of two oars?……..

        • Whitehurst

          An oar that’s a canny worth fella!!

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Loss of form, joking isn`t he. The BinDippers had forwards worth £160m going at them, we have the Hoss & Gayle

    • Peaky Magpie

      Minus £160m worth

    • Wor Lass

      Our “new signing” is back in training – he`s limping a bit due to the mobile down his sock but he`s raring to go.

      • Kneebotherm8

        Was he ever injured?……….one or two on here saying Rafa’s a liar and apparently Mitro,when over in Serbia,stated he’s been as fit as a fiddle for ages……
        One of two things here………Were his comments lost in translation or is Mitro the liar and just stirring the sht.
        I tend to think he’s the liar or he’s been misquoted……

        • Wor Lass

          Yeah – his general fitness/weight etc could well be better than ever but he could still have a specific niggle stopping him from playing. He could also have been worried about clubs not coming in because they think he`s a crock. I notice that Rafa has mentioned several times that he`s making progress but not fully fit and Mitro and his camp have never questioned it.

          • Kneebotherm8

            Fair point about him maybe not wanting potential buyers to think he’s unfit.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Palace gave them a hell of a game and nearly beat them. When the cup draw was made against Chelsea articles on this site goodbye to the cup yet Norwich nearly knocked Chelsea out. Anything can happen on the day. To many on this site have us beaten before the game has started. Everton who are worse than us got a point there earlier in the season.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose


    • Dillon Tovak

      Everton are worse than us!?!?!?

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Take it you were not at the Everton home game then the worst team I have seen in years lucky was not the word post bar off the line and one mistake.

    • Mitros gotta start

      Dont be silly….we only have a championship squad…..we have no chance of beating chelski….well according to Rafa anyway….we will line up 4-6-0 and play for a draw

  • Alan Pardew

    Pep Guardiola is setting the standard in this country and his team are a pleasure to watch

  • Wor Lass

    Those stats about Lascelles` starts are really interesting. There`s no doubt who`s going to be player of the season this term. However, Jackie, what`s all this “.. eight points from the last 12 (if ignoring Man City) …” about? You might as well say, “We`ve never been relegated under Ashley`s ownership (if ignoring 2009 and 2016 and, possibly 2018)”!

  • Wor Lass

    I liked the look of Kenedy last night – first time I`ve seen him. Unfortunately, he`s now cup-tied. His performance won`t have been lost on Conte, either. I know, he wouldn`t have been able to play against his parent club and we`re more than likely going to lose to Chelsea but we have to give the lads some sort of chance. Chelsea didn`t look very slick last night but it was a much-changed team. I don`t always agree with Monkseaton but this IS the cup and strange things happen (but usually to us, unfortunately).