Man City v Newcastle team news: Mahrez benched, no Schar

Manchester City take on Newcastle United in the opening match of Gameweek 26, which gets underway at the Etihad at 12:30 GMT.

These sides met way back in Gameweek 3 and shared six goals, a signal of intent from the Magpies and a sign of things to come in a largely successful 2022/23 campaign to date.

City have won their last 13 home league encounters against Newcastle, however, including a 5-0 thrashing of an Eddie Howe-led side in May 2022.

The reigning champions being involved in the early kick-off usually heralds a Fantasy Premier League (FPL) site crash but we had no such down-time this morning, with Fantasy interest cooling a little in City assets – especially among Wildcarders.

The most-owned player in the game, Erling Haaland, features in this Saturday afternoon curtain-raiser although he’s not the most-captained pick of Gameweek 26 among the top 10,000 FPL managers:

Haaland starts as expected for City, whose side shows two changes from the Gameweek 25 win over Bournemouth.

Kyle Walker and Kevin De Bruyne are back in the starting XI as Rico Lewis and Julian Alvarez make way.

That means another league benching for both Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva.

John Stones and Aymeric Laporte are also among the City substitutes after recovering from injury and illness respectively.

Newcastle make three changes from the side that lost to Manchester United in the Carabao Cup final last Sunday.

Nick Pope is back after his suspension and replaces Loris Karius between the sticks, while Anthony Gordon comes in for Allan Saint-Maximin on the left flank.

The most significant news from an FPL perspective is that Jamaal Lascelles has replaced Fabian Schar at centre-half, with concussion ruling the Swiss stopper out of today’s game.

Schar had needed treatment for a head injury early on at Wembley but went on to complete the full game.


Manchester City XI: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Akanji, Ake, Rodri, Gundogan, De Bruyne, Grealish, Foden, Haaland

Subs: Ortega, Phillips, Stones, Laporte, Alvarez, Silva, Mahrez, Palmer, Lewis

Newcastle United XI: Pope, Trippier, Lascelles, Botman, Burn, Longstaff, Guimaraes, Joelinton, Almiron, Wilson, Gordon

Subs: Dubravka, Saint-Maximin, Ritchie, Targett, Isak, Manquillo, Murphy, Willock, Anderson


Check in-play FPL stats on every Gameweek

UCL Fantasy unlimited transfer team reveals