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Watch Live: Man City vs. Newcastle

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Manchester City looks to take its frustrations out on visiting Newcastle United on Saturday at the Etihad Stadium (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

City lost its first match of the Premier League season last weekend when Liverpool held on for a 4-3 win at Anfield.

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Now Pep Guardiola‘s men meet a Newcastle United who flustered City at St. James’ Park last month in a 1-0 victory, and Rafa Benitez will need to find some new tricks to sort out the Premier League leaders.

City may see its table lead shrink to nine points, as neighbors Manchester United lead at Burnley on Saturday.

LINEUPS

Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Silva (C), De Bruyne, Sterling, Sané, Agüero. Subs: Bravo, Danilo, Gündogan, Mangala, Bernardo, Adarabioyo, Diaz.

Newcastle United: Darlow, Manquillo, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Murphy, Shelvey, Hayden, Diame, Atsu, JoseluSubs: Elliot, Yedlin, Haidara, Ritchie, Merino, Perez, Gayle.

PL Preview: Manchester City vs. Newcastle

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  • Newcastle has lost 8 PL away matches in a row
  • Man City last lost at home in PL play to Chelsea in Dec 2016
  • Newcastle has picked up 1 of a possible 30 points vs. PL top half this season

Manchester City has a great chance to rebound from its first loss of the season as they host struggling Newcastle at the Etihad on Saturday, live at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC or live online at NBCSports.com.

WATCH LIVE, HERE

The Magpies have picked up their terrible mid-season form of late, but still remain just three points above the drop. They are unbeaten in three, with a win and two draws, and have lost just once in their last five.

Through Newcastle’s losing streak, the Magpies struggled to keep the ball out of their own net, with defensive issues all over the place. They suffered through a nine-game winless run where they conceded 19 goals. However, of late, the roles have reversed, and suddenly they can’t score. In their last four games, they have just two goals.

City, meanwhile, have a few injuries to deal with on the defensive side of things, where they cannot afford them. Fabian Delph went down in the last match and could be out for significant time, along with Vincent Kompany who continues to show his age and history of fitness issues.

INJURIES: Manchester City – OUT: Fabian Delph (knee), Benjamin Mendy (knee). QUESTIONABLE: David Silva (illness), Vincent Kompany (fitness). Newcastle – OUT: Jesus Gamez (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: Dwight Gayle (knock).


What they’re saying

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola on build-up of injuries: “In these situations, it always depends on the mentality of the players, if they can make a step forward. If they can they play in positions that are not natural positions and the other guys help them, everything is going well.”

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez on not having a full squad: “When you have a short blanket, if you pull it to your face, your feet are cold, if you cover your feet, your top half is cold.”

Prediction

Newcastle has been ok of late, but not nearly enough to keep Manchester City out of the back of the net. This could get ugly, with the Citizens looking to rebound from their season’s first loss. 3-0 Man City with the possibility that it could get much worse if Newcastle gives up.

Hopeful Newcastle buyer Staveley: Offer still on the table

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Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is probably happy that his for-sale club is away this weekend, even though his side’s up against Manchester City.

[ MORE: Top PL storylines — Week 24  ]

That’s because hopeful buyer Amanda Staveley has responded to claims that her hopeful takeover of the team won’t be happening any time soon.

Talks had stalled, said Tuesday reports, much to the chagrin of an #AshleyOut brigade that at times can make Arsenal’s #WengerOut brigade look like a yard full of happy puppies.

A “source” had said, “Attempts to reach a deal have proved to be exhaustive, frustrating and a complete waste of time,” but Staveley shot back on Thursday to reignite the fire. From the BBC, taken from The Times:

“Our bid remains on the table. This is an investment, but it has to be a long-term investment. Newcastle would be run as a business, but we want it to be a successful, thriving business that is an absolutely integral part of the city.”

She also said that popular manager Rafa Benitez is integral to her interest in the team, and that fact combined with her insistence that an offer remains on the table will have many Newcastle fans seething with current ownership (and there have been protests for years). It’s Ashley’s move now.

Report: Newcastle sale talks between Ashley, Staveley collapse

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Talks between Mike Ashley and Amanda Staveley over the much-desired and -rumored sale of Newcastle United are off, according to a report from Sky Sports and various other UK news outlets.

[ MORE: Tuesday’s transfer rumor roundup | Friday | Thursday ]

Sky has quoted a source close to Ashley as having said: “Attempts to reach a deal (with Staveley) have proved to be exhaustive, frustrating and a complete waste of time.” (Full quote below)

Ashley, the club’s current and long-beleaguered owner, has been seeking a potential buyer since putting the club up for sale back in October. Staveley emerged as the front-runner (the only runner, perhaps) in the days following Ashley’s announcement, and reportedly tabled an offer of $335 million in early December before reportedly offering something closer to $400 million a couple weeks later.

Ashley selling the club — and doing so before the end of the January transfer window, which now appears nigh impossible — appeared to be one the few scenarios in which Rafa Benitez would remain the Magpies’ manager beyond the end of the current Premier League season (Newcastle currently sit 15th, just three points clear of relegation) after constant rumors of his discontent and lack of financial backing last summer.

Newcastle United 1-1 Swansea City: Level at St James’

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  • Newcastle one loss in six
  • Swans score just 14th goal of season
  • Super sub Joselu levels

Joselu played the role of super sub to deny the visitors a rare win as Newcastle United drew Swansea City 1-1 at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

Jordan Ayew gave the Welsh visitors a surprise lead, but the concession has Carlos Carvalhal’s club last in the Premier League with 17 points. Newcastle moves three points above the drop before its visit to Manchester City.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The hosts were all over the basement dwellers to start the match, but time and again the final pass was a bit off the mark.

When it was on, like when Ayoze Perez did dynamite work in the 12th minute to cue up a point-blank header, the finish was missing: Dwight Gayle headed nowhere near the goal.

Perez was very good early, denied by Lukasz Fabianski following a delightful feed from Matt Ritchie.

Christian Atsu was ripped down atop the 18, dead center, in what was dangerously close to a penalty area. Jonjo Shelvey ripped his effort over the goal, and it was Newcastle who were off the hook for a PK when a Mohamed Diame handball was deemed acceptable at the other end.

After a rare Swans chance, a lazy Gayle was offside to nod in what would’ve been an opener.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Perez intercepted a Sam Clucas miscue and set Gayle up for a 49th minute chance but the Englishman missed yet another opportunity.

Of course, Swans found the opener. Karl Darlow stopped Jordan Ayew’s opening header with a fantastic palm save, but cold only get a finger to the rebound on its way to goal.

Joselu tied the score through traffic at an acute angle after Shelvey sent Perez over the top with a diagonal ball. Fabianski was tight to his post and missed the shot.

Fabianski then thwarted Perez’s bid for a back post goal, and the ball went off the Spaniard for a goal kick.

It was mostly Newcastle without incisive threat for the final 20 minutes. That changed when Ritchie and Atsu lorded over an 88th minute free kick, but no one followed his offering to the back post.

Yet a stoppage time counter nearly defied the Magpies dominance but for Karl Darlow’s aggression and a DeAndre Yedlin clearance off the line.