• Manchester City
  • St James’ Park
  • FA Cup Quarter Final
  • Sunday 28/6/20 @ 6.30pm
  • Live on BBC.

It’s nosebleed time this Sunday, as Newcastle welcome Manchester City to St James’ for a belated FA Cup Quarter Final tie. It’s certainly rarefied atmosphere for our club, whom I think I’m right in saying, last made it this far in the competition when the flame haired minstrel of pop, Ed Sheeran was belting them out in short keks, at the back of his school choir.

 

Mike doesn’t usually do Cup runs. There’s possible glory to be attained, but that’s completely alien to our ‘fit & proper’ owner. “Shiny little trophies won’t pay the bills, Penfold. Firteenf in the Pwem will do me, fanks.”

Despite this omnipresent, crushing reality I was really looking forward to facing them back in March. They weren’t at their flowing best and following a United win and a draw in the two previous SJP encounters, I felt that a radged up Gallowgate and determined showing from our lot gave us some sort of outside chance.

 

Fast forward three months, and our visitors, having lost at Stamford Bridge on Thursday, are now no longer the champions of England. The rest of their league matches are pretty much glorified kickabouts, but you’d imagine they’ll be well up for this one. They waltzed away with the trophy fourteen months ago, humiliating Watford in the process, and they’ll be even more determined to keep ahold of it now Liverpool have taxed their Premiership crown.

 

I guess the big question is, can we do it this Sunday?

 

Well, looking at the evidence from our last outing, you’d be hard pushed to find too many backers. Having played pretty well v the Blades, we reverted to type somewhat against Villa. Mainly ponderous in the build up, and blunt as ever up top, we huffed and puffed through most of the match. On the plus side, Danny Rose had his best game in a Fun88 shirt and as ever, St Max was dangerous; but it wasn’t until AC and Gayle came on that we looked anything like proper threat. All their good work was undone a few minutes from time, when we conceded a soft one though, and our relegation threatened friends slinked off back to the Midlands with a well deserved point. Grrrr.

Not much of the above augurs well for turning over the undoubted class of City. I’m going to leave the more in depth stuff to ‘The Special’ lads, as frankly they’re much better at it than me, but even without the long time thorn in our side, Sergio I think they’ll still have too much for us.

 

Bruce will have to shuffle the decks, with Isaac & Ritchie looking fettled. I also guess he’ll attempt to play a version of Rafa-ball, and whilst this can be a useful tool in keeping the score down, I don’t think it’ll be enough to stop the best midfielder in the country, De Bruyne from making his mark. He is quite simply, a nightmare to play against, and a joy to watch.

 

Sorry and that, but I’m going for a 0-2 reverse in our empty stadium. However, if it makes you feel any better, I’m nearly always wrong. To be honest, whilst it would great to win and be involved in a Semi Final, this match pales into insignificance compared to our proposed takeover. So, I wonder Mr Masters, is there any chance of a decision? You know, before I die. It would be most appreciated.

 

HTL

 

Nick Clark

@Clark5 Nick