New Premier League champions Man City take on already-safe Newcastle at St James' Park on Friday night
The newly crowned Premier League champions kick off the weekends action on Friday night, as Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City take on Newcastle United at St James’ Park.
The game will likely see City receive a guard of honour from the Magpies, who went a long way to securing their top flight status last week when they beat Leicester City in another Friday night game. Fulham’s 0-2 defeat to Burnley on Monday night saw Steve Bruce achieve what he seems to think success is, although fans may not agree.
Speaking of fans, this game is hopefully the last time we’ll see St James’ Park without 52,000 raucous Geordies cheering their side on, as fans prepare to be welcomed back to stadiums from next week. Newcastle host bottom side Sheffield United in midweek in front of their supporters, many of whom still want to see Bruce shown the exit door at the earliest possible opportunity.
City will have to wait another nine days for their fans to see them in the flesh again, but the wait will be worth it as they will lift their third Premier League trophy in four years when the final whistle blows against Everton.
After losing their last league game to Chelsea as Pep Guardiola made plenty of changes, more rotation is expected from the Spanish boss. John Stones is back from suspension and could return alongside Ruben Dias at the back, although Aymeric Laporte, who was granted Spanish nationality this week, could continue.
Kevin De Bruyne is set to be rested again, so Ferran Torres, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus could start. Sergio Aguero is in contention too, despite his shocking penalty miss against Chelsea. He’s scored more goals against Newcastle than any other team since arriving at City almost ten years ago, and you’d think he’d be motivated to continue the run with the Champions League final just two weeks away.
As for Newcastle, Callum Wilson has this week been ruled out for the rest of the season with another hamstring injury. The former Bournemouth man had only just returned to full fitness from the same problem and scored twice against Leicester, only to pull the other hamstring, albeit less severely. With Newcastle’s season practically over, he won’t play again this season, meaning Dwight Gayle or Joelinton should partner Allan Saint-Maximin in attack.
Isaac Hayden, Jamaal Lascelles, Ryan Fraser and Karl Darlow are all out injured for the Magpies, but free-scoring midfielder Joe Willock should be available. The on-loan Arsenal man came off early against Leicester, but Bruce revealed it was only cramp. Fabian Schar serves the second match of his three-match ban for his red card against Arsenal.
Newcastle United take on Manchester City at St James’ Park on Friday, May 14th. Kick-off is at 8pm.