Guardiola is usually gnomic when asked about his selection, saying there is room for Sergio Gomez because Jack Grealish is injured. He knows Newcastle away is always difficult so his side will have to show how good they are and how much they understand their football. He’s also surprised his team started the season in decent form, as they had a short pre-season – or so he says.
On what point, I would expect Kieran Trippier to be brave on offense because of this.
As with almost every team that has to play City, beating them is nauseating as it has to be done with around 30% possession, most of which is not in dangerous areas. But every team that plays City is also lucky, if they can get enough decent ball, to have a word with a defense that lacks strength and quality. Obviously, the full-backs are great, but Joao Cancelo’s attacking license means space behind, while the centre-backs are decent but not among the best, and both can be physically outplayed. I’d expect Callum Wilson to try and pin them, but he’ll need decent serve from all over – I actually wonder if, for that reason, Fraser might have been picked ahead of Almiron, had he been in shape.
Full time at Elland Road they played I Predict A Riot. I would have the dots on them for that, quicksmart.
The final whistle has come this way – Leeds are now second in the table, Chelsea 12th – and at the London Stadium – or the London Stadium – where Brighton beat West Ham 2-0. Brighton are fourth, West Ham bottom.
They play added time at Elland Road, where Leeds still lead Chelsea 3-0 and, for added mirth, Kalidou Koulibaly was sent off for an utterly unnecessary second bookable offence.
None of these changes are unintelligible, and before I question them, yes I know, chances are Josep Guardiola knows more about association football than I do. However, given that City’s defense remains their weak point, I’m surprised he’s not trying to sort out a centre-back partnership that plays every week. And as brilliant as Bernardo is, I’m a bit surprised he’s on the wing, where his relative lack of pace can be a problem, than in midfield, where he’s at his best.
As for City, it’s John Stones and Nathan Aké at the back, meaning no Rúben Dias, while in attack Bernardo Silva starts ahead of Riyad Mahrez.
Newcastle are unchanged after last weekend’s goalless draw at Brighton, but although Matt Targett isn’t fit enough for the selection, Ryan Fraser and Emil Krafth make the bench.
Newcastle United (a Howeian, howayian 4-3-3): Pope; Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn; Guimaraes, Joelinton, Willocks; Almiron, Wilson, Saint-Maximin. Subtitles: Dubravka, Lascelles, Ritchie, Krafth, Wood, Fraser, Murphy, Anderson, Longstaff.
Manchester City (a more formal 4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Stones, Ake, Cancelo; Rodri, Gundogan, De Bruyne; Bernardo Silva, Haaland, Foden. Subtitles: Ortega, Dias, Phillips, Alvarez, Gomez, Mahrez, Mbete, Palmer, Lewis.
Arbitrator: Jarred Gillett (Gold Coast)
First of all: Leeds slam Chelsea 3-0, with 18 minutes and a change remaining.
Given an ever-changing world, it’s surprisingly easy to assume a state of permanence when it comes to things that are necessarily changing. Whether we envision summer, love, or football, once we’ve settled into a rhythm — hot days, disappointing nights, predictable results — it can seem like things will never change.
Such are Manchester City. Champions of England in four of the last five seasons, they have won 11 and drawn their last 14 league games – in which they also added Erling Haaland, making the prospect of not winning an extremely distant match. . We must never forget that this is all a facility of state wealth, but it nevertheless looks like a state of permanence.
Of course, sport and football are rarely like that – City was once where Newcastle is now, funded by some of the most renowned altruists on the planet just for the sake of playing. Things have changed since then, however. Where City had a free run against players as brilliant as David Silva, Sergio Aguëro and Yaya Touré and their rivals, at Man United, whose owners prioritized money over silverware, there is now financial fair play rules that make it more difficult for the elite to penetrate, and managers whose personal interests largely coincide with those of their clubs.
Which isn’t to say Newcastle haven’t improved a lot lately; they have. Bruno Guimarães is a good player, much better than anyone they could have hoped to sign at this stage; Joelinton, or Big Joe as Steve Bruce liked to call him, was a revelation in midfield; and the defense now looks like a defense.
All very well, but causing City problems will take a lot more than what we saw in the Newcastle iteration. They are capable – if they find the level they reached in dismantling Arsenal at the end of last season, they can hurt City – but nothing less, and they are for it.
Kick off: 4.30pm BST