Manchester City vs Newcastle UnitedEnglish Premier League, KO: 20:00 Dec 26, 2020, Etihad Stadium
NEWCASTLE boss Steve Bruce is up against the ropes so the last thing he needs is a Boxing Day trip to the Etihad to face big hitters Manchester City.
The Toon Army never really fancied Bruce from day one and he's under pressure more than ever after the Magpies crashed out of the League Cup to Championship side Brentford in midweek.
I tipped Newcastle to win at tempting odds of 2/1 which became even more generous when the Bees decided to rest top gun Ivan Toney and some other key players.
But Bruce's troops blew it as hopes of claiming a first piece of major silverware since the 1969 Fairs Cup disappeared with another poor display.
On the same night Manchester City were crushing Arsenal 4-1 to march into the semi-finals, making it nine games without defeat for Pep Guardiola's men.
So it would be a massive shock if the misfiring Magpies headed back to Tyneside with anything other than a defeat here.
How the bookies view it
It says everything about Newcastle's form that they are whopping 28/1 outsiders for a win at William Hill. The draw is as big as 9/1 with Bet365 while Manchester City's best price is 3/19 at SBK. There's absolutely no value in that but a Man City win to nil pays 4/6 at McBookie.
Recent head to head
Manchester City have found Newcastle a tough nut to crack at St James' Park, winning just once in their last three visits. But it has been a different story at the Etihad where they have won the last 11 meetings in the league.
It ended in a 5-0 victory for Guardiola's men when the Magpies came calling last season (below) and the Toon Army will be fearing another drubbing.
Players to watch
Guardiola (below) might rest a few of his big hitters with a tough trip to Goodison Park looming on Monday. But winger Ferran Torres came off the bench in midweek and is 7/5 with 888Sport for anytime scorer.
Newcastle would have been in even bigger trouble this season without the goals of summer signing Callum Wilson. He's 4/1 with Betway to grab a goal here and that looks a little overpriced.
Anything else catch the eye?
City have been flying out of the traps of late and I fancy them to grab over 1.5 first-half goals, a bet that landed for me when Newcastle last came to the Etihad. It pays 6/5 with Betway for this one.
Boylesports also price 5/6 on Guardiola's side to be leading after 30 minutes, which is decent value even though Bruce will probably set his side up to frustrate.
With the Magpies sitting deep, City might have to take a few shots from distance so I like the look of the 11/10 William Hill are offering on a goal being scored from outside the area.
This English Premier League match between Manchester City and Newcastle United will be played on Dec 26, 2020 and kick off at 20:00. Check below for our tipsters best Manchester City vs Newcastle United prediction.