Preview: United to show what they are made of against the Magpies? A win is required – no excuses

Preview: United to show what they are made of against the Magpies? A win is required – no excuses

Newcastle United -v- Manchester United

Premier League

St James’ Park, Newcastle

Saturday 17 October 2020, KO 20:00 BST

Referee: Craig Pawson Assistants: Richard West, Adrian Holmes

Fourth Official: Oliver Langford

VAR: Lee Mason Assistant VAR: Andy Halliday

Manchester United are back in action in the Premier League on Saturday evening when they face Newcastle United at St James’ Park. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be looking to bounce back from that terrible 1-6 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford almost a fortnight ago which was the worst defeat under the Norwegian and United just seemed so out of pace on the pitch after the match started well with United winning a penalty in the opening two minutes of the match and taking the lead. It went downhill from there. Spurs could have scored so many more goals and United will be expected to take a stand against the Magpies.

Steve Bruce’s side has started the 2020/21 season in good stead losing just one match in their last six with was against Brighton and Hove Albion, a team which United beat twice in the space of fours days only a few weeks ago now. That said, the form that had been shown by United seems to have disappeared with the squad having to restart their season from this weekend, aiming to kick back from that defeat to Spurs. United were not the only team to be caught off guard that weekend as the reigning Premier League champions were beaten 7-2 by Aston Villa, a club that only just avoided relegation last season – yet not much has been said about that.

United made a few signings on transfer deadline day, bringing in Alex Telles, a left-back from FC Porto, free agent Edinson Cavani, who will miss this weekend’s match and could make his debut against Paris Saint-Germain next week in the UEFA Champions, Facundo Pellistri from Uruguayan side Penarol and also announced a deal to sign Amad Diallo (Traore) from Italian side Atalanta, who will sign for the club during the January transfer window. United may not have signed Jadon Sancho, but instead signing a leader (Cavani), a top class left-back and two 18-year-old right-wingers who have the raw talent to succeed at the club.

Manchester United: LWWWLL

Tottenham Hotspur 6-1 L, Brighton and Hove Albion 3-0 W, Brighton and Hove Albion 3-2 W, Luton Town 3-0 W, Crystal Palace 3-1 L, Aston Villa 1-0 L (F)

Newcastle United: WWDWLW

Burnley 3-1 W, Newport County 1-1 (5-4) W, Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 D, Morecambe 7-0 W, Brighton and Hove Albion 3-0 L, Blackburn Rovers 1-0 W

Top Scorers: Bruno Fernandes, Juan Mata and Marcus Rashford are leading United’s top scorers with two goals each by Newcastle’s Callum Wilson has scored four times so far this season.

Manchester United Goals: 2 – Bruno Fernandes, Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford, 1 – Donny van de Beek, Mason Greenwood, Own Goal, Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay

United started the season with a devastating 3-1 home defeat against Crystal Palace, starting their season a week later than the rest of the Premier League. Then followed a 3-0 Carabao Cup victory over Luton Town, to return to winning ways. Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League them came with United winning 3-2 with controversial circumstances regarding a late penalty to win the match. Brighton in the Carabao Cup came days later with United registering a 3-0 victory again. United’s form then seemed so much better until Spurs came to Old Trafford and turned the screws to win 6-1 putting United’s season under a lot of pressure.

Tottenham Hotspur Goals: 4 – Callum Wilson, 2 – Joelinton, 1 – Allan Saint-Maximin, Isaac Hayden, Jacob Murphy, Jamaal Lascelles, Jeff Hendrick, Jonjo Shelvey, Miguel Almirón, Ryan Fraser

The Magpies started the Premier League season well with a 2-0 victory over West Ham United on the opening day of the season but then came their first defeat to Brighton, conceding three goals in the game – showing hoe lucky United were to get the upper hand over the team twice in the space of a few days. The Magpies got back into action with a 1-1 draw with Spurs, possibly showing his terrible United were against the North London side the weekend before last. In their last league match, the Magpies beat Burnley 3-1. In the Carabao Cup, the Magpies have beaten Blackburn Rovers 1-0, Morecambe 7-0 and beating Newport County 5-4 on penalties.

Team News: United have problems with injury, suspension and self isolation whereas the Magpies could have up to 11 players out of action for this fixture.

United have a few problems ahead of the match against Newcastle at St James’ Park on Saturday evening. Sergio Romero (not available for selection), Phil Jones (knee) and Anthony Martial (three match suspension) are not available to face the Magpies. Axel Tuanzebe (ankle/foot) has a 25% chance of featuring against the North East club, which seems to be more of a doubt than an indication that United’s defence could be strengthened but his return. New signings Edinson Cavani and Facundo Pellistri are not likely to be fit for this match with both players self isolating. Alex Telles, who has been playing for Brazil, could make his debut against the Magpies.

The Magpies have some injury problems ahead of the visit of United. Three players have already been ruled out of the match; Matt Ritchie (shoulder), Dwight Gayle (knee), and Martin Dubravka (calf/shin/heel). Paul Dummett, Ciaran Clark and Matthew Longstaff (all thigh) have a 25% chance of being involved in the match against United. Miguel Almiron (muscular), Jamal Lewis (calf/shin/heel), Jamaal Lascelles (thigh) and DeAndre Yedlin (knock) all have a 50% chance of facing United. Lastly, Allan Saint-Maximin (ankle/foot) has a 75% chance of facing United. The length of the injury and doubt list could be a problem for Steve Bruce against his former club.

Predicted Starting XI: Martial suspended, Ighalo to lead the line? Maguire rested to overcome problematic period? Telles to make his debut at left-back? Van de Beek to start ahead of Pogba?

Against the Magpies, I think Solskjaer should give Dean Henderson a shot in goal as he has not played during the international break and David De Gea did not exactly do himself much justice against the Ukraine. Henderson could provide some safe hands in goal and he at least deserves to be given the chance as he has not conceded yet. Harry Maguire’s problems have got worse after he saw himself sent off for England, so a break to overcome some problems which seem to stem from the summer. Paul Pogba was poor against Spurs so should be benched giving Donny van de Beek a chance to start. Anthony Martial is suspended so Odion Ighalo should start.

Match Prediction: United have beaten the Magpies 29 times in the history of the Premier League with the Magpies winning just seven times – there have been 14 draws between these two teams.

United have met the Magpies 50 times in the Premier League with United winning 29 times, drawing 14 times and losing seven times. United have scored 101 goals in these matches compared to the Magpies’ 51 – a 50 goal difference between the two sides. United have won one penalty, scoring one with the Magpies winning three and scoring three. United have kept 19 clean sheets in the 50 matches compared to the Magpies’ 11 – which shows both teams are capable of shutting up shop, in the past at least. United have been shown 84 yellow cards to the Magpies 82 with both teams having three players sent off in the 50 matches played in the Premier League.

In this fixture last season, which was played in the 6 October 2019, the Magpies beat United 1-0 with Matty Longstaff scoring the only goal of the match. United played badly in the fixture at. time whereby form was not the best at the club, which is a similar situation this season, especially after that 1-6 defeat to Spurs in the last match which was almost two weeks ago. United found their feet against the Magpies last season, winning 4-1 at Old Trafford on Boxing Day with Longstaff opening the scoring again but Anthony Martial scoring a brace, with both Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford on the scoresheet in the victory.

Newcastle United 1-3 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

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