Opinion

The Manchester City lineup that should start against Newcastle on Boxing Day

Tom McArdle
Manchester City were victorious over Arsenal in the EFL Cup in midweek
Manchester City were victorious over Arsenal in the EFL Cup in midweek / Catherine Ivill/Getty Images
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Manchester City host struggling Newcastle at the Etihad Stadium to round off the Premier League's Boxing Day festivities.

Pep Guardiola's side head into the game off the back of a comfortable 4-1 win over Arsenal in the Carabao Cup, a result that has set up a mouthwatering semi-final tie with bitter rivals Manchester United.

Things are not going so swimmingly in the Premier League, though. City are down in eighth place currently, trailing leaders Liverpool by eight points with a game in hand.

They do, however, have a very favourable record over Steve Bruce's Newcastle, one they'll be hoping to take advantage of given the Magpies poor form. Here's 90min's thoughts on how City should line up after they've scoffed down some turkey.


1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

John Stones has been a key component of the City defence this season
John Stones has been a key component of the City defence this season / Michael Regan/Getty Images

Ederson (GK): The Brazilian has six clean sheets so far, a figure only Aston Villa's Emiliano Martínez has bettered.

Kyle Walker (RB): His versatility and powers of recovery are just two of a number of world class traits.

Ruben Dias (CB): Has stabilised City's defence following his summer arrival, and is undisputed first choice.

John Stones (CB): With Aymeric Laporte now enjoying a watching brief, the previously discarded Stones is showing signs of getting back to his best.

Joao Cancelo (LB): Like Walker, Cancelo provides great versatility - popping up on the right against Arsenal and, most probably, the left here.


2. Midfielders

Rodri may have to play without Fernandinho
Rodri may have to play without Fernandinho / ALEX LIVESEY/Getty Images

Ilkay Gundogan (CM): Scored against West Brom in City's last home game and has been expectedly neat and tidy.

Rodri (CM): Looked a lot more at ease playing alongside Fernandinho midweek, but will be tasked with anchoring the midfield alone against lowly Newcastle.

Kevin De Bruyne (CAM): The brilliant Belgian has registered seven assists already and that number will increase rapidly when Sergio Aguero is fit and firing.


3. Forwards

Foden will be hoping for some Premier League minutes
Foden will be hoping for some Premier League minutes / Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Phil Foden (RW): His goal and assist against Arsenal has surely earned him a return to starting in the Premier League. Surely?

Gabriel Jesus (ST): Took his goal well in midweek and with Aguero still struggling for full fitness, he may get the nod again.

Raheem Sterling (LW): Scored the decisive winner against high-flying Southampton, but is a long way short of his best. Could fill his boots here.


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