A fascinating matchup given Newcastle are more than capable of an upset, beating Sheffield Utd 3-0 on their return albeit with the Blades down to 10 men, though they were very much humbled midweek hosting Aston Villa as that ended 1-1.
Meanwhile, Man City may have lost to Chelsea to gift Liverpool their first league title in 30 years, but in reality, the race was already over and they’ll certainly be concentrating their resources on this game now.
The defending champions have cruised through the competition thus far with 4-1 and 4-0 home victories over Port Vale and Fulham respectively, as well as a 1-0 success on the road to Sheffield Utd.
However, we would be slightly cautious of their form on the road at present given they lost to the Blues in their only such fixture since the return of football.
Although they’ve won five of their last eight trips, each of those victories have come by fine one-goal margins, as the other teams they lost to were Spurs and Man Utd.
Man City 1 Goal Winning Margin
The Magpies will have to be respected by their opponents as they’re a solid W1-D2-L2 against City and Liverpool combined at St James’ Park since the start of 2017/18, including a victory and stalemate in their last two against Pep Guardiola’s men.
Furthermore, a record of W2-D3-L1 against the current breakaway top six here across all competitions this season is impressive and they’ll certainly be taking the game to the visitors, with the likes of Allan Saint-Maximum running at them from the off.
In fact, in the 17 league matches their star winger has started this term, their win percentage jumps a huge 46% when compared to the 14 he hasn’t.
Furthermore, when facing the top eight sides in the table with him, they’re a mightily impressive W5-D2-L1 across all venues, with that sole defeat by a single strike against Chelsea.
Newcastle +1.5 Asian Handicap
The Citizens have an away record of W7-D2-L1 in this competition since Guardiola arrived for the 2016/17 campaign, and so we’d still expect them to walk away with a spot in the semi-finals secured.
Of course, the visitors will still have one eye on their next league match against the now champions Liverpool, with a keen interest in showing them who remains on top in English football, but no doubt the Spanish manager will get his charges up for this one at whatever cost, as they could still potentially land a treble of cups this term.
Although we like the look of the winning margin at the prices, we do also think the current prices around Man City are far too short.
With that in mind, the Asian Handicap looks very appealing should the Magpies manage to edge this one out, or just take the game to extra time.