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Premier League preview: Newcastle vs Manchester City

4 Mei 2012

koclokindoblog, 4 Mei 2012, Manchester City head to Sports Direct Arena on Sunday with the Premier League title on the line as well as Newcastle's European ambitions.

City manager Roberto Mancini was in the stands at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday to watch Newcastle's Papiss Cisse's stunning pair of strikes dismantle Chelsea 2-0, pulling them level on points with Tottenham.

Tottenham and Newcastle are level on 65 points, one point behind third-placed Arsenal who are in the box seat to claim automatic qualification for the Champions League.

But despite the result, which effectively rules Chelsea out of qualifying for next season's Champions League via their domestic position, it is Roberto Di Matteo's men who could still deny Newcastle or Tottenham a spot if they defeat Bayern Munich in this year's final on May 19.

For Mancini, the equation is now simple - with a win over Newcastle, and Sunderland on the last day, all but ensuring they will lift the Premier League trophy on May 13.

On the other hand, Alan Pardew's Newcastle have been superb all season and, while Spurs faltered, they have gone on a run of seven wins in eight matches to turn a fourth-placed finish, something few would have dreamed of before the season, into a distinct possibility.

The only recent blip was a 4-0 loss to Wigan at the DW Stadium before the stunning return to form against Chelsea, but that one slip up could cost Newcastle dearly with Spurs still ahead on goal difference - 14 goals better off.

Mancini, meanwhile, sees his side in pole position to win the league with a healthy goal difference over United, despite his claims Sir Alex Ferguson's men are still the 'favourites'.

Ever since Mancini conceded the title to United after a 1-0 defeat to Arsenal saw them slip eight points behind on April 8, City have played with a sense of freedom while their rivals have stuttered.

Captain Vincent Kompany's lone header in a historic 1-0 win over United at the Etihad Stadium could prove the turning point for City, who have forked out millions to end their cross-city rival's dominance as well as their own 44-year league title drought.

The key men for the respective sides could be Cisse, who has scored a remarkable 13 goals in 12 games since his move from Bundesliga side Freiburg, and for City Carlos Tevez, whose return from exile has culminated in four-straight wins after his first start back against West Bromwich Albion on April 11.

Both have tough matches to fulfil their respective aspirations, with City heading to Sunderland in what could be the title-decider, and Newcastle facing a tricky trip to Everton on the final day.
 
soccerway.com


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