On Saturday night, reigning champions Manchester City will visit St James’ Park to play Newcastle United in an attempt to narrow the gap on the Premier League summit.
These two teams are now separated by eleven points in the standings, with the Citizens in third place and the Magpies six spots below in ninth.
After Dan Ballard’s own goal in the first half, Alexander Isak scored twice to help the Magpies defeat the Black Cats and win the title for the first time since 2011. Howe was rewarded for selecting a solid starting team, even if it was partially forced upon him due to the club’s injury situation.
Later this month, Newcastle will play Fulham in the fourth round, but first they have to focus on Saturday’s match against Man City, whom they defeated 1-0 in their last encounter in the EFL Cup four months ago thanks to a goal from Isak in the second half.
The Magpies’ Premier League record against the Citizens is unsatisfactory, though, having only won one, drawn five, and lost 26 of their previous 32 meetings. Their lone victory during this run was a 2-1 victory at home in January 2019.
Newcastle could fall 14 points behind the top four if other results go against them, which would seriously jeopardize their chances of qualifying for the Champions League the following season. A loss on Saturday would be their tenth in the top flight this season, which is twice as many as they had during the whole of the previous campaign.