Manchester United bounced back from an ugly loss against Tottenham Hotspur with a convincing 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town, and they will loko to start another winning streak this Sunday when they take on Newcastle United at St. James Park.
With the UEFA Champions League quickly approaching, The Red Devils need to keep winning to put pressure on Manchester City, as that is pretty much everything they can do to keep themselves alive on the title race at the moment.
Manchester United won’t have Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Eric Bailly. However, Jose Mourinho did confirm that the Swedish is back in training, and could return to action quite soon, although it does not seem likely that it will be in this game. Daley Blind will be out as well due to an injury, and Marouane Fellaini will be a game-time decision.
On the other hand, Newcastle could have Joselu back in the starting XI after he missed last week’s trip to Crystal Palace due to illness. January signings Martin Dubravka and Islam Slimani could make their debuts, although Rafa Benitez might prefer more experienced players in this game, especially on the goalkeeper role. Jesus Gamez is the lone absentee here for the Magpies, as the Spanish full-back is getting “healthier, but not ready” to play yet as he rehabs from an ankle problem.
Manchester United’s form has been impressive in 2018, as they have won all their games during the New Year with the exception of the 0-2 defeat against Tottenham; that was the only game where they have conceded as well. The Red Devils remain second in the Premier League standings, but are well behind Manchester City and it seems trying to settle for a UEFA Champions League berth might be the best alternative at the moment. The title race is solely on Manchester City’s hands.
Meanwhile, the Magpies have been struggling of late and now they have gone five games without a win in all competitions after consecutive 1-1 draws against Burnley and Crystal Palace. The team got off to an impressive start of the season, but they have crashed down to earth in the last few months and are beginning to feel the relegation threat hovering around their heads. They are just one point above the bottom three and have kept just two clean sheets in the last 17 matches. To make things more complicated, they have not won at home since October 21. Will they turn things around, or will United take advantage of that opportunity?
The last time these two sides met, Manchester United escaped with a huge 4-1 win at Old Trafford. Anthony Martial, Chris Smalling, Paul Pogba and top scorer Romelu Lukaku netted for The Red Devils.
The defeat against Tottenham ended Manchester United’s winning run of five games across all competitions, but they bounced back with a huge win over Huddersfield. Considering the team’s home form and the opposition’s struggles, United should not have problems to escape with the three points in this one.
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