Manchester City vs Newcastle United: Three Key Head-To-Heads at Eastlands

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Manchester City vs Newcastle United: Three Key Head-To-Heads at Eastlands
Michael Steele/Getty Images

Mega-rich Manchester City entertain perennial underachievers Newcastle United tomorrow afternoon at the City of Manchester Stadium.

Promoted Newcastle have had a mixed start to the season (P6-W2-D1-L3). Last time out they surrendered a halftime lead at home to the struggling Stoke City.

But if they are one thing then they're unpredictable.

Just ask Aston Villa, who were on the wrong end of a 6-0 humiliation earlier in the season.

They have a very good coach in Chris Houghton, who has finally been given a chance to manage in the big time by controversial owner Mike Ashley.

City come into the game on decent form (P6-W3-D2-L1) after beating the Champions Chelsea comprehensively last weekend and drawing against Italian giants in the Europa League on Thursday.

A win for Roberto Mancini's men could see them move up to second in the table.

Although its too early in the season to read too much into this, it does show the beginnings of a stronger and more consistent Manchester City.

Lets take a look at three of the key battles that will take place tomorrow as these two massive clubs come face to face.

Vincent Kompany vs Andy Carroll

The battle of the big men.

Kompany has been superb this season. Last weekend he got the better of Didier Drogba with a very commanding performance.

This week, he has to handle the tall, awkward and powerful Carroll.

The Newcastle front-man has been in great form thus far this season, scoring four goals, including a hat-trick demolition of Villa.

But Kompany is part of the best defence in the Premiership, only shipping two goals in the league all season. 

Both so strong in the air, this matchup maybe won over the ground. Where the advantage is with Kompany.

A cultured defender who has gone up against and got the better of whoever he has faced so far this season.


Nigel De Jong vs Joey Barton

A central midfield battle that will no doubt produce some fireworks.

Barton, a product of the famous City academy returns to his former club with a point to prove, and will be more than up for this game.

But he is coming up against an in form De Jong, who like Kompany is coming off the back of an excellent display against Chelsea.

Neither will shirk their defensive duties and you can expect some full blooded tackles to be exchanged by the players.

Arguably Barton is technically the better player, but De Jong doesn't have to be that creative. He will happily pass the ball to Yaya Toure or Adam Johnson and let them do the attacking.


Carlos Tevez vs Fabricio Coloccini

The battle of the Argentines, this battle could prove to be the most important of the game.

City are over reliant on their captain and lack goals if they don't come through Tevez.

If his fellow countryman Coloccini can keep him quiet, then both Tevez and City could become frustrated.

Coloccini is a very experienced defender who has played both Champions League and World Cup football.

That being said if Tevez is on form then he is virtually unplayable and has the ability to win the game with very little help.

This is a very interesting match-up and is a hard one to call.

But if Tevez gets the better of Coloccini then Manchester City win, its as simple as that.


Prediction

I don't expect a goal fest, City are very strong at the back and don't look like conceding as regular as they have done is previous seasons.

They also don't look like scoring as much as they are used to either.

Partly due to the system implemented by Mancini, partly due to their lack of a striker to partner Tevez.

I think City will get the win, but it'll no be easy.

2-0 Manchester City

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