Newcastle United midfielder Vurnon Anita admits the club fear a backlash when they play Manchester City on Saturday.
The Magpies will be expecting City to hit back after their last-minute defeat to bitter rivals Manchester United on Sunday, while the champions were also eliminated from Europe last week.
Alan Pardew's side have failed to reach the heights of last season in the Premier League, that saw them challenge for a top-four spot and they currently sit 14th in the table.
Anita told The Sun: "I expect them to be aggressive because they don't want United to pull away at the top. But we must look at ourselves and bring our A-game."
The Magpies go to Manchester United on Boxing Day and face Arsenal at home on December 29, still without a win away from St James' Park this season and Anita is eyeing a swift improvement on the road.
"Of course we are worried about our away form," he added.
"But we must keep our faith and work hard. It will come if we do that."