Both Newcastle United as well as Manchester City will be under tremendous pressure to win this game, each for their own reasons. As far as City are concerned, wins in their two remaining games are a must if they are to lift their first league title since 1968. Newcastle, on the other hand, will also need to win both their remaining games, if they wish to qualify for the Champions League next season.
The Magpies have been, of late, one of the in-form sides in England, with seven wins in eight games (including wins over Liverpool and Chelsea). The team is led by Senegalese strike pair of Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse and have scored 15 goals (while conceding only five) in their last eight games.
However, they do seem to lose concentration now and then - the game against Wigan was an example. Nonetheless, Newcastle, in fifth place in the league, are still in a strong position from which to qualify for the Champions League next season.
Manchester City, who regained top spot in the league after defeating rivals Manchester United, have simply no option but to win this game. A defeat in either of the their two remaining games - against Newcastle and QPR could give United a chance to record a 20th league crown.
Roberto Mancini's side, fortunately for them though, seem to be regaining some of the momentum and confidence that marked their play in the first half of the season and have won four games on the trot, scoring 13 and conceding only twice.
Apart from the long term injury to defender Steven Taylor and a late fitness test for full-back Danny Simpson, the Magpies go into this game at full strength. Ivory Coast midfielder Cheick Tiote, who had seven stitches above his eye after a terrible collision with Chelsea's John Obi Mikel during the two teams' clash on Wednesday, will start this crucial game.
Manchester City, on the other hand, have no injury concerns and Roberto Mancini will probably select the same side that played against the Red Devils. However, he may give defender Micah Richards and midfielder James Milner a run out.
- Papiss Cisse, whose excellent form has been the main reason behind the Magpies' recent success, has scored 13 goals in 12 appearences for Newcastle this season.
- Newcastle have only lost one home game in their last nine encounters. On the other hand, City, who have been very good at the Etihad, have only won four out of their last 12 away matches.
- City, however, have not lost a single game against the Magpies since 2005.
- Newcastle are the only club in the Premier League who have scored more in the first half, 28, than in the second half, 27.
Newcastle: Krul; Perch, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon; Tioté, Gutiérrez; Cabaye; Ben Arfa, Cissé, Ba.
Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy; Yaya Toure, Barry; Silva, Tévez, Nasri; Agüero.