– Newcastle are in need of a win after losing five of their last six games, so the incentive of a visit from the reigning Champions may give them just the lift they need.
– Hatem Ben Arfa scored a sensational equalizer in the last game against Fulham, while captain Fabricio Coloccini hit the post.
– Danny Simpson has been in excellent form over the last two seasons, and did his best to get forward and provide chances for his team mates against Fulham by delivering more crosses than any player has in a single game this season with 13.
– If one man can always be relied on to give his all for Alan Pardew’s team it’s Jonas Gutierrez. The Argentinian winger was once again top of the Newcastle distance charts against Fulham, running for a hard-earned 6.44 miles.
– The importance of Demba Ba to the Newcastle cause should not be underestimated and the Magpies will be hoping to hang onto the striker in the upcoming transfer windows. Ba has scored 10 times for Newcastle in the league this season, with a solid conversion rate of 1 goal from every 3 attempts on target.
– Fabricio Coloccini has been a rock for Newcastle at the back this season and his steady leadership has been complemented by an excellent total of 33 interceptions and 11 blocks.
– Hatem Ben Arfa’s contribution to the Newcastle team going forward is always excellent, with the electric winger regularly striking fear into opposition defences with his close-control and vision. However the Frenchman could do with tweaking some aspects of his defensive play if he is to evolve into the complete midfielder many believe he can be. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, he’s given away a foul every time he lost out in a challenge, having been pulled up 14 times by the officials this season.
– Man City will be looking to bounce back after coming away empty handed from a heated Manchester derby last weekend. Yaya Toure and Pablo Zabaleta were both on target for the blues but those goals weren’t enough to prevent a 3-2 defeat.
– The Man City midfield will have been under strict instructions from Roberto Mancini to disrupt Utd’s flow in the midfield last weekend and despite the eventual defeat, Samir Nasri and Gareth Barry were clearly keen to take up the challenge. They were City’s joint hardest workers against the Red Devils, both running for 6.69 miles.
– Yaya Toure’s gargantuan 682 passes completed in the opponent’s half this season has put clear daylight between himself and the rest of the league, with Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla his nearest rival with 658 according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– It was a tense game for Carlos Tevez facing down his old club last weekend and a there were a couple of fiery moments from the dynamic Argentinian. Tevez has been flourishing at the Etihad this season though, already compiling a highly impressive 16 crosses and 10 assists.
– David Silva’s return to the first team will be a welcome sight for many City fans, and the Spaniard is clearly keen to make up for lost time from earlier in the season. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index he’s successfully completed a pass in his opponents half every 2.3 minutes, despite only playing 1036 minutes of football.