‘Contenders’ - Pep Guardiola’s seven-word Newcastle United verdict fans will love ahead of Man City trip

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has labelled Newcastle United ‘a fantastic, fantastic team for many reasons’ ahead of Saturday’s Premier League encounter.
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Manchester City head into the game on the back of their UEFA Super Cup win on Wednesday night as they look to pick up a 15th consecutive Premier League win at home to Newcastle.

But unlike the majority of previous meetings between the two clubs at the Etihad Stadium, Newcastle go into the match with a decent amount of confidence having finished fourth in the Premier League last season and opened the 2023-24 campaign with a 5-1 win over Aston Villa at St James’ Park.

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And Guardiola was typically very complimentary about The Magpies heading into the match.

“It’s a Champions League team,” Guardiola said in his press conference. “If you are a team that qualifies for Champions League next season it’s because you are a really good team.

“Nobody believed it last season and look what happened. And they continue with this.

“Eddie Howe has built a fantastic, fantastic team for many reasons, in build-up in transitions and ball possession. They control everything and it will be a massive test for us but we are there for that.”

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As Man City chase an unprecedented fourth consecutive Premier League title, some have tipped Newcastle to challenge Guardiola’s side at the top of the table this season.

And the City boss hasn’t ruled it out.

“If they handle the competitions this season, the Champions League, the FA Cup, Carabao Cup and the Premier League,” Guardiola added. “If they handle it well they can compete but it’s completely different when you play one game a week or four games a week but if they are able to handle it, of course they are contenders.”