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Manchester United v Newcastle – Preview

Manchester United host Newcastle United on Sunday evening, with the hosts looking to recover form their recent shaky form.

Here’s all you need to know about that meeting at Old Trafford:

Form

Manchester United – WDWDW

After having been being potential title contenders in early January, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side now find themselves dragged back into the top four battle, following some disappointing results in recent weeks.

While they haven’t looked particularly impressive since the turn of the year, they were still managing to grind out results, before the home defeat to struggling Sheffield United at the end of last month appeared to derail their title bid and confidence.

Since then, Manchester United have dropped points against Arsenal, Everton and West Bromwich Albion, as well as just about scraping through in the FA Cup against an in-form West Ham side.

That 1-1 draw against the Baggies, in particular, was arguably the most damaging, the stalemate seeing them slip ten points behind leaders Manchester City, following their win over Everton on Wednesday night.

United did get back to winning ways on Thursday night with an impressive 4-0 win over Real Sociedad, with Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford once again instrumental to the Red Devils best moments

As for team news, Solskjaer confirmed this week that Paul Pogba is unlikely to return this month, while both Edinson Cavani and Donny Van de Beek are doubts due to injury, the pair having missed the trip to Turin.

Newcastle United – LWLWL

It’s been a fairly dismal season once again for Magpies fans, though there have at least been signs of promise, with victories over Southampton and Everton a marker of what Steve Bruce’s men can do when all their attacking players are fit and firing.

Unfortunately for Bruce and co, they never seem to get much luck when it comes to illness or injury, with star striker Callum Wilson set to miss up to 6-8 weeks after limping off in the entertaining win against the Saints on February 6th.

The absence of the former Bournemouth man was keenly felt on Monday night, as Newcastle suffered a 2-0 defeat away at Stamford, Chelsea’s strong first-half display enough to see them earn all three points despite a late rally from the visitors.

In truth, when Wilson doesn’t play, Bruce’s side don’t seem to score, the England international having scored or assisted 15 of his side’s 25 Premier League goals this season.

Embed from Getty Images

With the Magpies now in 17th and just six points ahead of Fulham, there is a real danger of being sucked back into a relegation battle, particularly with the Cottagers looking impressive in recent weeks.

As for team news, Bruce returns to his former club without the likes of Fabian Schar and Javier Manquillo due to injury.

Last Meeting

Newcastle United 1-4 Manchester United, 17 October 2020

It was the late show for Manchester United when the two sides last met, as a Bruno Fernandes-inspired display continued their fine away form.

The Magpies had held on for 1-0 win at St.James’ Park in the same fixture last season and it looked like they could be heading for a repeat performance, as a Luke Shaw own goal put the hosts ahead inside two minutes.

Unlike the year before, however, the visitors did manage to find a way back into the game, Harry Maguire heading home midway through the first-half, while the Red Devils also had a goal correctly disallowed for offside.

The game looked set for a draw when Bruno Fernandes uncharacteristically missed a penalty, though the Portugal international made up for it late on, curling home a delightful finish from an acute angle and then laying on a superb assist for Marcus Rashford, either side of a first professional goal of his career from Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Predicted Lineups

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Bailly, Shaw; Fred, McTominay; Rashford, Fernandes, Greenwood; Martial.

Newcastle United: Darlow; Krafth, Lascelles, Clark, Lewis; Shelvey, Hayden, Willock; Almiron, Saint-Maximin, Joelinton.

Who is the referee?

Paul Tierney

What channel is it on?

UK and Irish readers can watch the match on BT Sport.

What time is kick off?

Sunday 21 February, 19:00 GMT

Odds

Man Utd – 1/4

Draw – 21/4

Newcastle – 10/1

Read – Please, can we not spend the next decade pitting Mbappé and Haaland against each other?

See also – Rebooting his career in claret and blue, Jesse Lingard is making up for lost time

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