Manchester United saw a three-game winning steak across all competitions come to an end before the international break when they lost to Chelsea. However, The Red Devils need to bounce back soon, because Manchester City are already quite far on the Premier League standings, and the Old Trafford outfit needs to start winning on a regular basis if they want to keep fighting for the title in the coming months. With that in mind, Manchester United will host Newcastle United at Old Trafford this Saturday at 17:30 BST. Craig Pawson will be the referee.
Jose Mourinho has been dealing with lots of injuries during the current season, but it seems the international break couldn’t have come at a better time for The Red Devils. Even though some of the injured players might not feature in this one, the fact that they are close to return to training should only help the team’s depth. For example, we have Marcos Rojo (knee). The Argentinian defender has been training with the team for a few weeks already, and is inching closer to a return as well.
Rojo is not the only player that might return soon, though. Paul Pogba (hamstring), Michael Carrick (undisclosed) and Phil Jones (hamstring) will probably require a late-fitness test to determine their availabilities. Unfortunately Jones’ case is a bit more complicated, since he suffered the injury less than a week ago while on international duty with England. One positive news is that Marouane Fellaini (knee) could be available. Mourinho actually confirmed that Pogba, Rojo and Zlatan are in contention for a squad spot ahead of Saturday’s match.
On the other hand, Newcastle have a fair share of absentees as well. Defender Paul Dummett and midfielder Mikel Merino won’t play due to thigh and back injuries, respectively. Meanwhile, Christian Atsu and Jamaal Lascelles are doubtful. The latter’s absence could be huge for Newcastle, as Lascelles is the undisputed leader on the Magpies’ backline. Manager Rafa Benitez did say that Ciaran Clark and Rob Elliot will be available, though.
Manchester United’s form before the international break was quite a roller-coaster ride. However, there is no question they have been excellent at home. The Red Devils are currently riding an eight-game winning streak at Old Trafford across all competitions. They also have conceded just once in that span. In fact, United have not lost in their past 18 home matches dating all the way back to February 2017. That’s impressive any way you want to see it. The team will have to maintain that form if they want to come out on top in this one.
On the other hand, Newcastle are coming off two straight defeats against Bournemouth and Burnley, and register just one win in their last five matches in the Premier League. They have not been any better on the road, riding a three-game winless run with one win in the past five encounters. In short? They are struggling to get things done. And that’s something United should take advantage of. Especially considering the team’s home form.
The head-to-head record between both clubs certainly favours Manchester United. The Red Devils are currently riding a five-game undefeated streak against Newcastle dating all the way back to 2014. They have actually lost just twice to the Magpies in the past 10 meetings. The last two games betweeen these two teams ended in draws, however, including Newcastle’s last visit to Old Trafford. That game ended 0-0.
Manchester United are coming off a disappointing defeat against Chelsea the last time out, and they are quickly letting Manchester City run away with the Premier League title. But United must rediscover the h0me form they had at the beginning of the season. Considering Newcastle are not really a threatening team based on recent results, I fully expect The Red Devils to come out on top in this one to keep the top position in the standings within reach.
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