Two sides who endured contrasting fortunes in their EFL Cup quarter-final showdowns will soon turn their attention to the Premier League as Manchester City face off against Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium on Boxing Day.
Finding the back of the net has not been Manchester City's forte this season, but Pep Guardiola will be hoping that his side have rediscovered their goalscoring touch after putting four past Arsenal on Tuesday evening.
The Citizens were helped by a less-than-convincing performance from Runar Alex Runarsson in between the sticks, but City simply eased to victory at the Emirates thanks to goals from Gabriel Jesus, Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden and Aymeric Laporte, with Alexandre Lacazette pulling one back for the Gunners.
Guardiola's men are well on their way to a fourth consecutive triumph in the EFL Cup, but City's attention now turns to the Premier League as they look to get their title charge back on track heading into the New Year.
City were made to work for their victory at high-flying Southampton last weekend, but Raheem Sterling's early finish ensured that Guardiola's team travelled back from the South Coast with another three points in the bag, which was only their third victory in their last seven top-flight outings, however.
It is possible for eighth-placed City to break into the top four on this festive weekend, but Guardiola's men would need to win and hope that Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, Everton and Chelsea all suffer defeat, which is extremely unlikely to occur despite the surprises that Boxing Day fixtures have thrown up in the past.
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce accepted that he would be heavily criticised for the Magpies' performance at Brentford, with Josh Dasilva's second-half winner enough to dump the Premier League side out of the competition at the quarter-final stage.
Bruce continues to divide opinion amongst the Newcastle fanbase, but with no cup football to contend with for another few weeks, the Magpies boss can simply focus on producing more consistent results in the Premier League heading into 2021.
Newcastle have only tasted defeat once in their last four Premier League outings - a run which includes victories over Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion - but the Magpies had to rely on a controversially-awarded Callum Wilson penalty to bail them out of trouble against a 10-man Fulham last weekend.
Should Bruce's men defy the odds and prevail on Man City's turf, they will temporarily leapfrog Wolverhampton Wanderers into 11th before the West Midlands outfit face Spurs on Sunday, but defeat would hand Crystal Palace and Leeds United the opportunity to overtake Newcastle this weekend.
City put five past Newcastle without reply in this fixture last season, and the Magpies have not won a top-flight game on the hosts' turf for over 20 years.
Manchester City Premier League form: LWWDDW
Manchester City form (all competitions): WWDDWW
Newcastle United Premier League form: LLWWLD
Newcastle United form (all competitions): LWWLDL
Sergio Aguero was given a run-out for the final 15 minutes at Arsenal on Tuesday, but Guardiola may not want to risk the Argentine from the first whistle just yet, so Ferran Torres could lead the line again with Jesus out.
Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Cancelo, Dias, Stones, Mendy; Rodri, Gundogan; Mahrez, De Bruyne, Sterling; Torres
Newcastle United possible starting lineup:
Darlow; Yedlin, Hayden, Clark, Lewis; Almiron, Shelvey, Longstaff, Ritchie; Wilson, Joelinton
We say: Manchester City 2-0 Newcastle United
City, and Aguero in particular, boast an incredibly strong record against the Magpies, who will still be reeling from their dampening EFL Cup exit. Guardiola's men have not hit their usual goalscoring heights in the Premier League, but they will fancy their chances against a decimated Newcastle defence, so this should be a routine win for City on Boxing Day.
Top betting tip
Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below: