Make or break for City

Last updated : 02 January 2008 By Ben Collins
The Blues have been riding high this season, with Sven's summer signings blending with the pick of our Academy graduates from the outset.

Not only did we start superbly but, on the back a 100% home record, we managed to remain in and around the top 4 right up to Christmas.

Sven has galvanised the Blues and got everyone playing to their full potential, but now is the time we'll see what Sven and his promising side are really made of.

You'd normally be happy to come away from Newcastle with a point, and City have been happy to settle for a draw on the road this season given we've been picking up maximum points at home.

We can't afford to just sit back and hope to hang on for a point tonight though.

Our 100% home record came to an end with draws against Blackburn and Liverpool in our last 2 games, which is certainly no disgrace, but coupled with the fact we're playing a day later than most of the Premiership tonight, those results have seen us drop to 7th - amazingly, our lowest league position so far.

We've only won 1 away game - on the opening day at West Ham - and we need to start picking up points on the road.

Newcastle are struggling and manager Sam Allardyce is under pressure. The Toon Army will be expecting a vast improvement and it promises to be a tense affair for the home crowd. Necastle are vulnerable so we need to take full advantage.

We return to Upton Park for the 3rd round of the FA Cup, when hopefully we'll be able to get a cup run going, and then return to league action with another away game at Everton.

Apart from their 4-1 home defeat by Arsenal, the Merseysiders have been in great form over the last few months and went above us after beating Middlesbrough yesterday. They're one of our direct rivals for a top-6 finish so a decent result at Goodison Park would do wonders for our European hopes - defeat could send us spiralling further down the table.

If we fail to kick-start our away form at either Newcastle or Everton then it would put pressure on us to get back to winning ways at home when we return to Eastlands on Jan 20th to face West Ham.

Our fall down the table since the draws against Blackburn and Liverpool showed that our home record was what was keeping us up there. We need to be going out to win games at home and you can't expect to challenge for a top-6 place if you fail to beat mid-table teams like West Ham.

Each game could go either way and Sven's motivational ability and team selections could prove the difference.