St James’ Park - Premier League
A fixture that used to set the pulse racing, things are a lot more tame these days for both Newcastle United and Manchester United. Can the two clubs put their problems to one side this weekend though, and serve up an entertaining encounter in front of the TV cameras?
Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford both scored in the last quarter of the game to guide United to a 2-0 victory at St James’ Park in January. That completed the double for the Red Devils, after they came from two goals down to conjure a throwback win from behind at Old Trafford earlier in the campaign. Newcastle were 1-0 victors on Tyneside the season before thanks to Matt Richie’s winner.
Isaac Hayden is suspended for this game after a reckless lunge against Leicester City last weekend earned him a straight red card. Last year’s goalscorer Ritchie is an injury doubt along with Jonjo Shelvey, Dwight Gayle, Florian Lejeune and Jetro Willems.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a raft of injuries to contend with, although Anthony Martial, Luke Shaw, Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka could be available for this trip to the North East. Paul Pogba is a doubt though, while Phil Jones and Eric Bailly are out.
Newcastle v Manchester United Preview and Predictions
With both teams struggling to hit the back of the net this season, we could be in for a low-scoring affair this weekend. Both teams have a point to prove though, while there are plenty of interesting subplots dotted around the fixture.
Former Manchester United captain Steve Bruce must’ve been bitterly disappointed with the way his Newcastle side collapsed after going down to 10 men against Leicester. The Magpies boss can’t take too much blame for that 5-0 drubbing, but he needs a much improved performance in the face of little love from the Toon Army.
The Magpies are now five without a win in all competitions, while their opponents this weekend have made their worst start to a Premier League season in 30 years. They put in a dreadful performance in their last away game, losing 2-0 at West Ham, while the lack of quality was almost painful to watch in another fixture that used to be a real highlight in years gone by, as United drew 1-1 with Arsenal on Monday.
The Reds’ trip to AZ Alkmaar in Thursday’s Europa League outing is an unwelcome distraction, as Solskjaer aims to get his youthful side pointing in the right direction on the domestic front. The away team still start as the odds-on favourites in the betting though, priced at 10/11. Newcastle meanwhile are 18/5, with the draw at 13/5.
Man United to win to nil at 21/10
Despite some heavy recent investment, Newcastle are a mess at the moment and have only scored four times in their opening seven Premier League fixtures this season.
Man United to win 1-0 at 6/1
Solskjaer’s side are hardly setting the world alight either though, and this could be a tight and cagey affair settled by the odd goal. Marcus Rashford is 15/1 to get it in a 1-0 United scorecast.