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Michael Owen with double bad news for Steve Bruce

9 months ago
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Michael Owen has been talking about the upcoming challenge Steve Bruce faces.

A fortunate late win and poor performance against West Brom, has been followed by really poor displays and results against Leeds, Fulham and Brentford.

Newcastle United now set to face Manchester City and then Premier League top two Liverpool and Leicester.

The corresponding fixtures last season saw three defeats and 11 goals conceded, only one goal scored.

Any improvement on that trio of results this time?

Well, for Saturday night, Michael Owen has double bad news for Steve Bruce, predicting both a defeat and no goals for Newcastle United. If you are a super optimist and looking for positives, I suppose at least Michael Owen only predicts a 2-0 defeat for the visitors.

Last season saw a total surrender as Steve Bruce employed the usual ultra negative tactics in July at the Etihad, with absolutely no plan on how to try and create chances, never mind score a goal. Man City with 74% possession and 23 shots, whilst Newcastle had only one corner and one effort on target.

Again, if looking for small positives, Gabriel Jesus started the scoring after only 10 minutes in the 5-0 hammering in July (2020), but he has been ruled out of this match after testing positive for the virus.

The season before, Newcastle United actually gave Man City a real game at the Etihad, an excellent team move finished off by Yedlin with a Rondon assist, with the home side running out of ideas it took a Kyle Walker wonder strike from distance to win it 2-1. Man City announcing on Christmas Day that Walker also misses tonight’s match due to having to self-isolate.

Not wanting to worry anybody too much but as well as Steve Bruce’s tactics and game ‘plan’ looking ever more clueless, the stats from this fixture are pretty horrendous.

Newcastle losing their last 11 Premier League visits to Man City, conceding 39 goals, an average of almost four goals conceded per visit. That is every PL game at the Etihad since Mike Ashley bought Newcastle United.

The last two times Newcastle scored AND picked up any points, Alan Shearer got the goals both occasions! Shearer getting the winner in 2000 when NUFC last won here in the Premier League, then scoring again in the 2004/05 season for a 1-1 draw. The only positive Premier League result since then was a goalless draw in 2006/07, just ahead of Mike Ashley buying the club.

Other positives…well three current Newcastle players have scored in this fixture, as well as Yedlin in that 2-1 loss, Jacob Murphy scored a quality goal in a 3-1 defeat, whilst Andy Carroll also has a goal here, though that was in the 2008/09 relegation season, before he helped win promotion and headed off to Liverpool. It is now over 32 months since Andy Carroll scored a Premier League goal, so maybe he is due one tonight…

Michael Owen declares: ‘Things are starting to look on the up for Manchester City’, to which Newcastle fans would no doubt reply, when have they ever looked anything else?

Pep Guardiola’s team have only lost two of twenty two games this season, at home to Leicester and away at Spurs. They are in the semi-finals of the League Cup, qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League winning five groups games and drawing one, whilst in the Premier League they are four points off second (with a game in hand), eight points off Liverpool at the top.

Let’s hope one day soon, things are similarly ‘starting to look on the up’ for Newcastle United…

Newcastle United Premier League record at Manchester City these past 20 years:

2019/20 Lost 0-5

2018/19 Lost 1-2 (Yedlin)

2017/18 Lost 1-3 (Murphy)

2015/16 Lost 1-6 (Mitrovic)

2014/15 Lost 0-5

2013/14 Lost 0-4

2012/13 Lost 0-4

2011/12 Lost 1-3 (Gosling)

2010/11 Lost 1-2 (Gutierrez)

2008/09 Lost 1-2 (Carroll)

2007/08 Lost 1-3 (Martins)

2006/07 Drew 0-0

2005/06 Lost 0-3

2004/05 Drew 1-1 (Shearer)

2003/04 Lost 0-1

2002/03 Lost 0-1

00/01 Won 1-0 (Shearer)

Michael Owen talking to BetVictor:

“Things are starting to look on the up for Manchester City.

“Unbeaten in 5, they have been solid of late, especially at the Etihad where they are undefeated in 16 of their last 17 matches.

“What’s most impressive is their defensive record.

“City have only conceded two goals in their last nine matches.

“I can see that being the case again here.

Newcastle’s record against the top sides leaves a lot to be desired, so I’ll be going for a comfortable home win.

“Predictions are:

“Manchester City to win to nil

“Manchester City 2-0 Newcastle United.”

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