View from the other corner: What’s the mood like in Newcastle ahead of Sunday’s game against Man City?

Newcastle earned their first win of the season against Burnley earlier this month. Credit: Getty.Newcastle earned their first win of the season against Burnley earlier this month. Credit: Getty.
Newcastle earned their first win of the season against Burnley earlier this month. Credit: Getty. | Getty Images
We asked our NewcastleWorld reporter to give us an insight into how those on Tyneside are feeling in the build-up to Sunday’s game.

Manchester City will hope to strengthen their position at the top of the Premier League table when they travel to Newcastle United on Sunday.

However, for the Magpies, it’s a very different story, as Eddie Howe’s men are locked in the jaws of a worrying relegation battle.

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To gauge the mood in Newcastle ahead of the game, we asked Jordan Cronin, football reporter for our sister site NewcastleWorld, to give his assessment of the Magpies’ recent form. Jordan also gave his view on City and explained why he feels the visitors will come away from St James’ Park with all three points on Sunday...

Newcastle lost 3-1 to Liverpool in midweek. Credit: Getty.Newcastle lost 3-1 to Liverpool in midweek. Credit: Getty.
Newcastle lost 3-1 to Liverpool in midweek. Credit: Getty. | Getty Images

What have you made of Eddie Howe’s start as Newcastle manager? Have the team notably improved?

“The team has improved, lots of individuals have as well. Joelinton is the most obvious one, but still, results haven’t exactly gone to plan. And that is what matters. The win against Burnley was a big relief but now, on reflection, only drawing with Brentford and Norwich City - albeit down to 10 men for 81 minutes in the latter - looks like it could have consequences. Beating the Clarets was hoped to be a real turning point at the time, but the heavy defeat at Leicester City definitely surprised a few. The loss against Liverpool was expected, though Newcastle did give a good account of themselves. To summarise, Howe is well liked by fans but the harsh reality is, he needs results quickly if he wants to keep the club in the Premier League. What a great time to play Manchester City…”

City are in the midst of another title battle - what’s the view in the North-East, do you think City will be crowned champions come May?

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“City were my tip at the beginning of the campaign, so I’ll stick with it. But having watched Liverpool many times this year, I think Jurgen Klopp’s side will run them close, much like a couple of seasons ago. Chelsea will fall short.”

Saint-Maximin picked up an injury against Liverpool. Credit: Getty.Saint-Maximin picked up an injury against Liverpool. Credit: Getty.
Saint-Maximin picked up an injury against Liverpool. Credit: Getty. | Getty Images

Allan Saint-Maximin is a doubt for Sunday’s game, how much of a loss would he be?

“My opinion might surprise a few. Look, every Newcastle fan wants him on the pitch but I’m interested to see how they would cope without Saint-Maximin. We talk about players improving under Howe but the Frenchman isn’t necessarily one of them. As a left-winger, he’s been quiet compared to his usual standards. Indeed, he played as a central striker at Liverpool and was much better, so I think he’s best suited to a middle role. However, Callum Wilson holds that position. If injured, Miguel Almiron will likely come into the XI.”

If Newcastle are to get a result against City, what do you think their best approach to the game would be? Similar to the second-half performance against Liverpool?

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“Honestly, it seems impossible that Newcastle will get a result against Man City, mostly because they can’t defend. The Magpies have conceded 37 goals already this season… combine that with City beating Leeds 7-0 and it sparks instant fear. But if Howe & Co are to pull it off, they’ll need a masterclass from their goalkeeper and defence. Simple as that. Counter-attacks will be key.”

Eddie Howe has picked up one win since taking charge of Newcastle. Credit: Getty.Eddie Howe has picked up one win since taking charge of Newcastle. Credit: Getty.
Eddie Howe has picked up one win since taking charge of Newcastle. Credit: Getty. | AFP via Getty Images

Finally, how do you think Newcastle will set-up on Sunday and are you expecting much rotation?

“It’s so hard to predict starting XIs at this time of year especially - but I’ll try my best!

“Newcastle XI (4-5-1): Dubravka; Manquillo, Schar, Lascelles, Ritchie; Almiron, Longstaff, Shelvey, Joelinton, Fraser; Wilson.”

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