Many people will play on victory of Manchester City today. I'm certainly not one of them. Not because I support Newcastle, but because I have certain reasons for that. Firstly, Manchester City has not got rid of the mentality of the average team. This is best illustrated by the previous results. They played well with strong teams like Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea, but they showed weakness on the matches against average teams, like Sunderland (defeat away, 0:1) and Blackburn (draw 1:1 at home). Then, today's opponent of Manchester City is not a naive team. Newcastle fell on the first test in Manchester, 0-3 against United. It was their first championship match after returning to the Premier League. After that they played two more matches away and they didn't lose - 1:1 with Wolves and 1:0 against Everton. But, home matches were their problem, except dismantling Aston Villa, 6:0. Newcastle has a fast crew, offensively oriented and able to score even against teams with solid defense, like Manchester City has.
Mancini probably cannot count on defenders Micah Richards and Pablo Zabaleta, while another issue is bothering Newcastle - goalkeeper Steve Harper is absent after undergoing shoulder surgery because of sustained injury during a match against Everton. There are other absences on both teams, too, but already for a longer time.
I don't believe that Newcastle will lose today, but obviously I don't have enough courage to bet on Draw or Double chance, X2. Handicap, which covers the minimum loss, is even acceptable.
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