The Magpies are currently 14th in the overall standings and have only won once in their last 10 games in all competitions, 3-0 at home to strugglers Wigan earlier this month.
Pardew admits last weekend's derby defeat by rivals Manchester United will have fired up City, but he does not think they pose the same threat as they did last term, and said: "We got nothing off them last year but I don't think they are as strong as they were last year coming into this game."
He added: "We are having a tough run, we don't disguise that, but the work ethic is there. One big result, which could happen this weekend, could change a lot of the picture and we could find ourselves in a good position in the league."
Newcastle approach the match on the back of a disappointing 2-1 defeat by Fulham on Monday night.
Pardew remains frustrated his side could not seal a win despite considerable chances at Craven Cottage, with the returning Hatem Ben Arfa scoring his side's only goal.
Ben Arfa is a doubt for Saturday's match due to a hamstring problem, something which will again derail any kind of continuity in the Newcastle boss' side.
"I am here to tell my team to win and we didn't win (against Fulham) and we came of out the game with nothing," Pardew said. "Thirty four crosses and seven shots on target away from home should get you close to a victory but we made some errors in that game and we've got to stop it.
"Consistency, injuries and lack of form in some players and we've lacked momentum which carried us through last year. When you're winning games it carries you through and you don't have to think about it. We have to think long and hard about that game. Perhaps that's restricting us a little bit.
"The work rate is there, that was there for all to see on Monday and in the last three games in particular it has been really high. So that's a good base for us and there's still a strong spirit in the group."