Ahead of the game this afternoon, Match of The Day commentator Jonathan Pearce has been analysing the Manchester City v Newcastle United match.

There looks to be little doubt as to how this match will be set up, mirroring last season’s fixture and previous seasons.

Newcastle United very defensive and Man City putting as many attacking players on the pitch as possible.

Jonathan Pearce concedes that Newcastle almost got a draw against Chelsea but asks the question ‘Are Newcastle’s defenders good enough to strangle games?’

Newcastle fans knew this would be a tough start to the season but with the ongoing issues between Mike Ashley and Rafa Benitez & the fans escalating, the club feels that it is heading for disaster both on and off the pitch.

Results on the pitch can largely cover up a lot of cracks but little hope of that today.

If/when Man City win today then it would be 10 victories in a row against Newcastle in the league, matching the home side’s 81 year old record number of consecutive wins against another club.

Aguero has 14 goals in 11 matches against Newcastle, including eight in the last two games at the Etihad.

Newcastle have the lowest average possession (33.5%) this season of any PL club, a figure which will surely fall further today.

Newcastle lost every away match against the Premier League top eight last season.

The Match of The Day man declares ‘Given the strained relationship between Benitez and owner Mike Ashley, I have grave concerns for them this season.’

We all hope for some kind of light relief from events on the pitch but Newcastle fans know that nothing will really stand a chance of improving, in terms of real substance, until Mike Ashley sells the club.

Match of The Day commentator’s notes:

Jonathan Pearce:

“Rafa Benitez will try and stifle Manchester City, just as he did at St James’ Park last season and against Chelsea there last weekend. On both occasions he came close but failed.

“Are Newcastle’s defenders good enough to strangle games?

“They’re also very poor away.

“Given the strained relationship between Benitez and owner Mike Ashley, I have grave concerns for them this season.

“City will equal a 81-year-old club record if they get back to winning ways.

“It would be a 10th successive top-flight victory against a specific opponent.

“This is when Pep Guardiola revs up his teams.

“He’s unbeaten in September as a manager in 41 competitive games over the last eight years.

“It’s a home win for me.”

Killer Facts:

Manchester City have gone 21 top-flight games without defeat against Newcastle (W18, D3). It’s their longest unbeaten run against another team, as well as being Newcastle’s longest such winless streak.

Newcastle have lost their last nine away league matches in this fixture, conceding 32 goals.

City could equal their club record of 10 successive top-flight home wins against a specific opponent, set against Wolves in 1937.

Guardiola is unbeaten in 41 competitive matches as a manager in September since Barcelona were beaten by Hercules in September 2010 (W35, D6).

Sergio Aguero has 14 goals in 11 Premier League appearances against Newcastle, including eight in the two most recent meetings at the Etihad: five goals in October 2015 and a hat-trick in January 2018.

Their only win in eight league matches, home or away, was 3-0 at home to Chelsea on the final day of last season.

They lost all eight Premier League away fixtures last season against the teams that finished in the top eight of the table.

Newcastle’s average possession of 33.5% this season is the lowest in the division.

Man City v Newcastle Match Betting:

Man City win 1/10Draw 10/1Newcastle win 28/1

Rondon to score first goal 17/1NUFC win 1-0 70/17 goals or more in match 17/2

All Man City v Newcastle betting HERE