Newcastle United welcome Manchester United to St James’ Park in Saturday Night Football.
Victory for Newcastle coupled with defeats for Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal earlier in day could see the Magpies climb to second, whereas Man Utd could go as high as 14th with a win if Man City don’t beat Arsenal.
DeAndre Yedlin , Jamaal Lascelles and Jamal Lewis are expected to be available for Newcastle after recovering from a respective knock, hamstring and Achilles injuries.
Allan Saint Maximin who signed a new six-year contract in midweek is also in contention after recovering from an ankle knock which troubled him prior to the international break.
Ciaran Clark, Matty Longstaff (both thigh) and Paul Dummett (hamstring) could also feature but aren’t likely to be rushed back until deemed fully fit.
Martin Dubravka (heel), Matt Ritchie (shoulder) and Dwight Gayle (knee) remains sidelined indefinitely.
Man Utd will be without Anthony Martial as he begins a three match ban after being sent off in the Red Devils’ 6-1 home defeat to Tottenham a fortnight ago.
Axel Tuanzebe (foot) could return but the defender will face a late fitness test as will Harry Maguire who carried a knock into England’s international matches, whilst Phil Jones remains absent with a knee injury.
Deadline day signing, Edinson Cavani is self-isolating as per mandatory requirement on joining a new club as a free agent and will consequently miss this match.
- Newcastle have won just two of last six league meetings against Manchester United (W2, L4).
- Man Utd have won just one of their last four trips to St James’ Park (W1, D1, L2).
- Both teams have had three players sent off apiece in 50 previous Premier League meetings.
- Callum Wilson is the only Newcastle player to have registered more than one shot on target in Premier League this season, scoring from all four of his on target shots in four league appearances.
- No Man Utd player has won more aerial battles in their opening three matches than Harry Maguire’s eight victorious aerial battles.
Newcastle enter this match off the back of a stronger start to the season than usual and will definitely be fancying their chances of heaping more misery on a lethargic Man Utd defence, especially given their current pace up the flanks and a central goal threat in Callum Wilson.
The Magpies however are yet to show much threat down the centre but hopefully Steve Bruce has used the international break to improve the central play in terms of through balls and etc., because if they can get that right then Man U are in for a rough evening.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Red Devils however did make a bright start against Spurs before spectacularly imploding so will be looking to build on that promise and sustain that aspect more across 90 minutes than they did against Spurs, who were held to a draw by Newcastle the previous week.
I therefore can’t wait to see how this match plays out given the pressure that Man Utd’s defence are under to improve yet will be facing a confident Newcastle team, who should have the belief that they can win this whilst the Red Devils are still down and shaky.
Prediction: Newcastle United 2-1 Manchester United
Result: Newcastle United 1-4 Manchester United