Both sides have found the net in Manchester City’s last six games, but in Costel Pantilimon they have a second-choice stopper with a point to prove and Manuel Pellegrini’s side should be backed to reach the Capital One Cup fifth round with a win to nil at odds of 19/10.
The star-studded visitors are 3/5 for victory, with Newcastle 15/4 and the draw at the end of normal time 16/5.
Pantilimon has picked the ball out his net once in his last five City starts.
The Romanian benchwarmer was every inch the reliable custodian in his side’s run to the 2012/13 FA Cup final and is expected to start in Newcastle.
Pantilimon may have been ditched in favour of Joe Hart for that ill-feted Wembley pilgrimage, but given his colleague’s recent travails between the posts the scent of a first Premier League start will be lingering in his nostrils.
As such an at least doubly determined performance can be harnessed in pursuit of a Citizens shutout.
Newcastle have penetrated the City rearguard in just two of the sides’ last five meetings.
Even during their top-four bothering 2011/12 campaign Alan Pardew’s men had the devil of a time deciphering a way to ripple the Citizens’ net and they have scored against their Capital One Cup adversaries just once since.
Prospects of a goal for the Gallowgate End to savour appear all the more bleak when it’s considered that the man responsible for the Magpies’ most recent strike against City was Demba Ba, a man last seen somewhere in the vicinity of a west London substitutes’ bench.
The Magpies reacted to their last Tyne/Wear derby defeat by getting hammered 6-0 in their next home game.
Pardew has spoken of the need to put Newcastle’s 2-1 loss to Sunderland behind them as quickly as possible, but their previous record of banishing derby disappointment is far from encouraging.
After going down 3-0 to a Black Cats side under Paolo Di Canio’s stewardship they allowed a Liverpool shorn of Luis Suarez to beat them up on their own doorstep in their next match at St James’ Park.
Efforts to contain a Man City B team that might saunter into many a Premier League starting eleven will also be hindered by the absences of Fabricio Coloccini and first-choice centre-back partner Steven Taylor.