City will look to put further distance between themselves and the relegation spots when they travel to Newcastle on Saturday.
Back to back wins are not something that have been seen so often this season, but that is what City must look to achieve if they are to leave St. James Park with the three points.
The team has to build on the work ethic that has finally been seen since the abysmal cup defeat at Blackburn and show that their words of unity are more than just mere words aimed at consoling the supporters.
The Boro win was a good start and Newcastle offer similar spoils if the blues play to their best.
Richards will be missing after picking up an injury on England duty, however it seemed pretty obvious to all that he needed a rest and it may well have been that he would have missed this game anyway.
Newcastle sit in a comfortable mid table position and would seem to have little other than pride and a good league position to play for. It`s unlikely they will choose to rest players, as Boro did two weeks ago, but they are a side that are beatable and as such you would hope Pearce sets City up for victory rather than simply to avoid defeat.
A first goal for City should suffice as they remain the only club in the Premiership to have a 100% record in games in which they have scored first.
Stuart Pearce insists that City are looking no further than Saturday’s game as they continue with their battle to avoid relegation.
“There’s focus on Newcastle but not beyond that, our scouts have looked at it but from our point of view we can only look at Newcastle. We know it’s going to be a tough game up there for us.
‘If we get a result at St James’, we could look over a two-week period where we had two tough games but got two good results away from home and be pleased with that. But we know we’ll still have to win the next game after that.”
Newcastle United Team News:
Newcastle have Carr, Babayaro and Ramage available again after recovering from injuries.
Player to watch: Sibierski
Has spoken of his disappointment at being forced out of City by Pearce. That coupled with the old player effect means French Tony is the one to watch.
Manchester City Team News:
Richards is missing after picking up an injury whilst away on England duty.
If fit Onouha should replace Richards as the only change to the side that beat Boro last time out.
Player to watch: Mpenza
Looking better with each game and offers more than any of the other forwards have done all season.
Match Facts & Stats
We don’t win at St. James Park. One win in the Premiership speaks volumes for City’s record here. However, before the last game, we didn’t do victories at Middlesbrough either. Let’s hope this side has taken to the North East.
Newcastle have only won one in their last five and have failed to score in four of them. City’s last five record is the same although it is the blues who go into this game having won last time out.
Newcastle won this fixture 1-0 last season. The teams shared this season’s points at Eastlands with a dour 0-0 draw.
Graham Poll ….. The less said the better.
Strangely enough though is the fact that this is the third City/Newcastle game in a row that Poll has officiated at.
Little surprise that we didn’t win the previous two then.
I fancy City to steal a win here. 1-0 with a late Mpenza goal.
Charlton (h) …. Good Friday