Going into difficult games like these, it's best to stick to simplistic facts: it is going to be difficult, no s**t. I could talk about why we are not the favourites and why we have not signed anyone in this transfer window despite there being a huge need for reinforcements but that would simply be like preaching to the converted, you almost certainly know the answers to this farcical situation.
We can almost guarantee our approach to the game will be to try and park the buses, coaches, limousines and aircraft carriers (feel free to comment what other vehicles you think we will use). If we are still in the game at around the 70th minute, if we can just get through the first four fifths of the game which we have done before against Pep Guardiola's Man City, we will then go and seek out a positive result. For those who hate this tactic, I urge you to be patient for most of the game, it can work on its day and so nearly did in this fixture last season.
This will be our first league match at St. James' since we exited the relegation zone at Cardiff's expense with a 3-0 win over the bluebirds courtesy of a Fabian Schar double. It goes without saying that our home form needs to be targeted for improvement as it is one of the worst records out of the top four divisions this season.
In this set of fixtures, the teams around us will have similarly difficult matches. Cardiff and Burnley are away at Arsenal and Man United respectively. Southampton will look to continue their resurgence under Ralph Hassenhuttl against Crystal Palace at St. Mary's Stadium.
Facts and Figures
Newcastle wins: 71
Man City wins: 68
Man City wins: 23
Newcastle wins: 7
Premier League at St. James' Park
Man City wins: 9
Newcastle wins: 6
Previous ten (all competitions)
Man City wins: 8 (24 goals)
Newcastle wins: 1 (6 goals)
Biggest win: Newcastle United 5 - 0 Man City (29/10/1983)
Biggest defeat: Newcastle United 0 - 3 Man City (20/10/1956)
Newcastle United 4 - 3 Manchester City - 24/10/2004 (Premier League)
Stephen Carr: The Irishman played well in this match and his ambition to get forward was rewarded when he managed to create the chance which led to him being brought down by David James for Newcastle's penalty.
Robbie Elliott: The saying, 'they don't make them anymore' applies to Robbie Elliott, a product of the Newcastle academy and he spent a combined 13 years playing for his boyhood club spanning over two spells. The goal he scored in this match turned out to be his final league goal before retiring in 2008. His goal was a bizarre header to put Newcastle 3-2 up. Laurent Robert's free kick was glanced on by Elliott hitting the post. After Richard Dunne's attempted clearance struck thin air, the ball, helped with plenty of spin on it trickled over the line.
Olivier Bernard: The French full back came up at the right time as he assisted Craig Bellamy's late late winner from the left side after beating Paul Bosvelt.
Laurent Robert: A player who simply made the art of taking a perfect free kick look effortless. This match was no exception for the winger who signed for the club in 2001. He opened the scoring with a free kick which was still scored despite Robert slipping as he took it. Steven Gerrard can take some solace from the fact that things can still work out after slipping. Later in the game, Robert assisted Newcastle's third goal of the afternoon with Robbie Elliott's header.
Craig Bellamy: Despite the start of a completely new regime under Graeme Sounness after seeing some his excellent years guided by Sir Bobby Robson, Bellamy scored the winning goal to round off a seven-goal second half. After receiving the ball from Bernard, Bellamy chipped the ball up for a volley and calmly placed it into the corner and out of David James' reach to give Newcastle their third and final lead of the afternoon.
Alan Shearer: Shearer scored the only goal when Newcastle last won a league game at Eastlands and he got on the scoresheet in this match as he scored the goal to put Newcastle 2-0 up from the penalty spot, sending David James the wrong way.