Tue 26 Sept 2023, 16:06 · NUFCFEED

Newcastle United vs. Manchester City: 2023/24 Carabao Cup Round Three match preview

Newcastle United vs. Manchester City: 2023/24 Carabao Cup Round Three match preview
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Newcastle United begin their 2023/24 Carabao Cup campaign on Wednesday evening, with Manchester City the visitors to St. James' Park for an 8 p.m. BST kick-off that will be shown live on Sky.

Entering at the third round stage this season due to being involved in European football for the first time since 2012/13, the Magpies will be determined to avenge their defeat at the Etihad Stadium last month.

Eddie Howe's side are coming into this game on the back of an unprecedented 8-0 win at Sheffield United on Sunday, while Pep Guardiola's men beat Nottingham Forest 2-0 on Saturday despite an early red card for Rodri.

With a lot of rotation expected from both head coaches, we'll do our best to give you a pair of accurately predicted XIs, along with a correct final score prediction, the key quotes from the pre-match press conferences, and more.

What's the latest team news?

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Harvey Barnes has been added to Howe's injury list after sustaining a "serious" foot injury at Bramall Lane on Sunday, with the head coach saying it looks like the winger could be "out for months rather than weeks".

He joins Joe Willock (achilles) on the sidelines, while Emil Krafth (also knee) is still not fit to feature having only recently returned to full training. Joelinton, who has missed the last three games with a knee injury, was spotted in training on Tuesday, however, and could come back into the squad.

Martin Dúbravka shook off illness to take his place on the bench on Sunday and will be hoping for a start here, along with numerous other backup players.

Newcastle United Squad

Goalkeepers: Nick Pope, Martin Dúbravka, Loris Karius, Mark Gillespie

Defenders: Kieran Trippier, Tino Livramento, Javier Manquillo, Fabian Schär, Jamaal Lascelles, Sven Botman, Paul Dummett, Dan Burn, Matt Targett, Lewis Hall

Midfielders: Sandro Tonali, Sean Longstaff, Bruno Guimarães, Lewis Miley, Joelinton*, Elliot Anderson, Matt Ritchie

Forwards: Miguel Almirón, Jacob Murphy, Alexander Isak, Callum Wilson, Anthony Gordon

* = doubtful


Guardiola is set to be without Kevin De Bruyne (hamstring), Rodri (suspension), Bernardo Silva (knock), John Stones (hip), and Zack Steffen (knee) here, though Mateo Kovačić (thigh) is back in his squad.

Manchester City Squad

Goalkeepers: Ederson, Stefan Ortega, Scott Carson

Defenders: Kyle Walker, Rúben Dias, Manuel Akanji, Nathan Aké, Joško Gvardiol, Rico Lewis, Sergio Gómez

Midfielders: Matheus Nunes, Mateo Kovačić, Kalvin Phillips, Máximo Perrone, Oscar Bobb, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Jérémy Doku

Forwards: Erling Haaland, Julián Álvarez

How will the teams line up?

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Howe gave absolutely no specifics away in his pre-match press conference, saying that rotation was likely but that he hadn't decided on his team and he hadn't yet been able to fully assess the fitness of the players who played the majority of the game at Bramall Lane on Sunday.

Alexander Isak and Sandro Tonali are the most likely starters in the squad, having only featured for 20 minutes off the bench against Sheffield United. Jacob Murphy looks nailed-on to play from the outset, too, having struggled for minutes so far in this campaign.

Anthony Gordon was supposed to be rested at the weekend but ended up playing almost a full game, while Miguel Almirón came off after 70 minutes and only did an hour in the San Siro last Tuesday so must be fit enough to start on the right wing. He should complete the front three.

Thereafter, it just becomes about how strong Howe wants to go and how many fringe players he wants to give minutes to. We think he'll rotate as much as he possibly can with a view to how busy our schedule is, with massive games against Burnley and Paris Saint-Germain on the horizon.

Newcastle United (4-3-3)

Starting XI: Dúbravka; Livramento, Lascelles (c), Botman, Targett; Tonali, L. Miley, Hall; Almirón, Isak, Murphy

Substitutes: Pope; Trippier, Schär, Burn; Longstaff, Guimarães, Anderson; Gordon, Wilson


Guardiola did at least confirm that Kalvin Phillips would start and that Jack Grealish and Mateo Kovacic would get some minutes following their recent injury troubles.

He was also adamant that he'd be making wholesale changes, too, given how busy City's schedule is, so we'll see if he's good to his word!

Manchester City (4-2-3-1)

Starting XI: Ortega; Lewis, Aké (c), Gvardiol, Gomez; Phillips, Kovačić; Bobb, Grealish, Doku; Àlvarez

Substitutes: Ederson, Carson; Walker, Akanji, Dias; Nunes, Perrone, Foden; Haaland

Who will referee the game and who is the VAR?


Chris Kavanagh of Lancashire will have the whistle for this one, with assistance from Ian Hussin and Matthew Wilkes down the lines.

Sam Allison is the fourth official and there will be no VAR in operation, as it does not come into play until the semi-final stage of the competition.

What kits will the teams be wearing?

Dave Thompson/AP

We shamefully predicted green rather than blue at the weekend, but we're confident in saying that Newcastle will be wearing black and white shirts, black shorts, and white socks on Wednesday evening.

City should just be in their usual light blue shirts, white shorts, and light blue socks.

What have the head coaches said about the game?

Jason Cairnduff/Action Images

Howe conducted his pre-match press conference on Tuesday morning and said while changes are planned, his players will be taking things very seriously:

"We've got a couple (of knocks) in there, a few players, naturally from the three games. It's such a big physical effort - I know I say it a lot but a three-game week does test you. It's something we're going to have to get used to but we've got a few issues in there.

I think we will use the squad; I say 'think' because it's not finalised in my brain what we're going to do yet. I need to assess everybody physically first from the game we've just had - a couple of players have been carrying certain things, so we'll need to manage them.

But we do have players that are really keen to play and show what they can do. I think I have to utilise the squad, especially with what we have coming up not just at the weekend, but then midweek next week. And as I've said many times, we want the players to enter the pitch in the best physical condition to showcase their skills, so that'll be the same again tomorrow.

It's an important competition for us. Last year was amazing for us. We started against Tranmere, which was an incredibly difficult game. It seems a long time ago now, but you have to go to some tough places in the early rounds.

Now we've got the ultimate test coming up in the (third) round this year so it's a totally different tie to last year, but we will give it every importance. We will try as hard as we can to progress because we want to try and compete in every competition. We're certainly not dismissing it as anything other than the most important game.

I think it's the draw that no-one wants because for me they're the best club team in the world and have been for some time. Regardless of what team they pick, they've got world class players; they've got for me the best manager in the world as well.

So I think the test is there for us. We don't underestimate it but we also want to attack it and show that we have strength in depth as well and we can compete on various fronts. I think this is an ideal place to try and show that."

Guardiola was in front of the media 24 hours earlier and seemed to be doing his best to play down the importance of the fixture:

"He (Kalvin Phillips) will start. Jack (Grealish) is much better, Mateo (Kovačić) as well, I don't know how many minutes, maybe the second half, but they will play.

Don't think about much, it's just what's next which is Newcastle. Now is an exceptional situation, a lot of players are injured and a lot have played a lot of minutes and they have to rest.

Tomorrow is important but Wolves, Arsenal and Leipzig, (are) much more important. I have to take into consideration the effort in this period and the injuries or we're going to be in trouble."

Are tickets still available?

Serena Taylor/Getty Images

As we write this, the "ticket resale" period is still open on NUFC's official booking website, after the original tickets for the match sold out.

Handfuls of seats have been popping up sporadically all over the stadium since last Thursday and the resale won't close until 60 minutes before kick-off (7 p.m. BST in this instance).

Where can the game be watched or listened to?

Sky Sports have the rights again in the UK and Ireland. There's also plentiful availability overseas according to the LiveSoccerTV website.

As with our fixture at Bramall Lane on Sunday, this one will be beamed out nationally on BBC Radio 5 Live Sport and locally on BBC Radio Newcastle.

What's our head-to-head record with Manchester City?

Serena Taylor/Getty Images

Following our 1-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium in August, this is how our competitive record stands against The Citizens:








We've played City five times in this competition, most famously in the 1975/76 final at Wembley when we lost 2-1.

Interestingly, the other four meetings have all come in the fourth round. The most recent meeting was a 2-0 win at the Etihad in 2014/15 and there was a 2-0 defeat at St. James' a season earlier. Prior to that, we drew 1-1 at Maine Road in 1994/95 and then lost 2-0 at home in the replay.

What's the official NUFC.news score prediction?

With significant changes expected from both Howe and Guardiola, this one is a nightmare to judge. We'll park our backsides firmly on the fence and predict a 2-2 draw after 90 minutes, with Newcastle winning on penalties. Dúbravka owes us all one after last season!