Newcastle United vs Manchester United: Premier League Preview and Prediction
Manchester United travel to St. James’ Park to face Newcastle a couple of weeks after humiliation at home by Tottenham.
The spirits would be low as United have lost two of their first three Premier League games, a start no one expected after seeing them play post-lockdown. The atmosphere at Old Trafford has been negative but United will give it all for a win so that they can move on from what was the worst day at the office for the Red Devils.
The Magpies have had a bright start to their campaign, losing just one of their seven competitive fixtures this season. They are in contention to become a part f the top four if they win on the weekend, although they will need many such results to go their way.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been under tremendous pressure recently as it was expected that United will contest for the title this season. However, as things have gone so far, it seems it will again be a race for the top four for Manchester United.
Head to Head Stats
The head-to-head battle between the two is clear as United have won 11 compared to the Magpies’ four. Four have been drawn but the interesting part here is they lost at St. James’ the last time they played here.
Steve Bruce’s men have been doing well lately as they have picked seven points from the possible 12, their best since the 2011/12 season. They have also reached the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup after seeing off Blackburn, Morecambe, and Newport County.
Callum Wilson has been instrumental in the team’s increased performance while Allan Saint-Maximin has been exquisite on the wings. Wilson has four goals in four games and his brace against Burnley took him to the fifth spot in the Golden Boot race.
The Red Devils have not put up a convincing performance yet but expectations are high from them as the team is way better in terms of mentality than the team that played last season. Manchester United are also in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup but they still need to level-up their league displays.
Manchester United defense has been poor as per the precedent the team set last season. They have already conceded 11 goals in three league games and the future looks rusty defensively. Only West Brom have conceded more goals than them this season and these are serious signs of concern.
Things are just falling apart for the Manchester United skipper Harry Maguire as his last performance in the international break was horrific.
Newcastle United have won two, drawn two, and lost only once in their last five games in all competitions, while the Red Devils have won three and lost two.
The hosts have a number of casualties, especially in the backline. Jamal Lewis, DeAndre Yedlin, Ciaran Clark, Jamaal Lascelles, and Paul Dummett are all concerns.
Miguel Almiron picked up a knock while on his international duty but he may be available. Saint-Maximin is also a doubt, while Dwight Gayle, Matty Longstaff, and Martin Dubravka are all sidelined.
For United, they will have to sort out a suitable formation as Anthony Martial is suspended for two weeks after his red card against Spurs. The PSG signing Edinson Cavani is still in quarantine due to COVID-19 regulations and thus will be unavailable. As things stand, Mason Greenwood will be told to start upfront.
Brazilian left-back Alex Telles is in contention for his Manchester United debut after joining the club prior to the international break. Despite a red on English duty, Harry Maguire is expected to start. Who will play alongside him is still a mystery.
Jonjo Shelvey vs Bruno Fernandes
Shelvey has been a regular starter so far for the Magpies, something that didn’t happen last year. However, this weekend will he will be against Bruno Fernandes, who has been phenomenal for his national side but rumors about rifts with the manager have tended to slow things down for him.
Ole Gunnar Solskajer was immensely proud of the way Bruno came forward and spoke up about how everything has been good and the team needs to fight back.
Bruno along with his attacking skills, with his extreme pace, contributes well defensively too. Jonjo Shelvey will have to time his runs well as Bruno barely takes time while moving on the offensive from defensive and things can get worse for the defensive midfielder if his team is caught on the counter.
Allan Saint-Maximin vs Aaron Wan-Bissaka
The story has been pretty much the same here as well. While Maximin has been causing all sorts of problems to everyone with his step-overs, Wan Bissaka still has to increase his performance levels.
At a very young stage in his career, Wan Bissaka has the potential to become one of the greats at Old Trafford but he needs to keep up his performances day-in-day-out in order to achieve brilliance.
Both the players are quick and have amazing flexibility. However, concerns over Maximin’s fitness give Wan-Bissaka an edge as he will be back after ample rest because of not being called up for international duty.
The game should be a tight one. Manchester United would want to get done with the game as early as possible but defensive concerns may cause them some troubles. It will need some performance for the team to get back all the lost motivation as they prepare to face Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League next week.
Newcastle will try to execute a plan prepared by the manager and irrespective of the starting XI, should try to focus on executing it as perfectly as they can. The game is expected to be a tight one and a triumph here could do wonders for the side that wins.
Prediction: Newcastle United-1 Manchester United-2