Verdict: Newcastle win
Best Odds: 1/1
In what is a heavyweight Premier League showdown on Saturday night, Newcastle and Manchester United will meet at St. James’ Park.
Starting with the hosts, while Newcastle might have put in a gritty Champions League performance away at European giants PSG earlier in the week, Eddie Howe’s side suffered hugely controversial heartbreak in Paris. Eventually forced to settle for a 1-1 stalemate on foreign soil, the Magpies now find their Champions League knockout dreams hanging by a thread. However, although the former Bournemouth boss might have seen his squad win just one of their previous four appearances across all competitions, Newcastle will be excited to make a return to St. James’ Park here. Marking their return from the fortnight interval with a stellar 4-1 romp against Chelsea last weekend, Howe’s men have gained a reputation for their continued success at in the north east. Including a 1-0 victory against title contenders Arsenal when opening November, it should be highlighted that Saturday’s hosts have won seven of their last eight showdowns at St. James’ – a run that stems all the way back to August 27th.
Still dealing with a stacked injury list in the north east, Newcastle will once again be unable to call upon the likes of Harvey Barnes, Dan Burn, Sven Botman, Sean Longstaff, Joe Willock and Matt Target. Likewise, serving a global suspension and not available to feature again until next year, Sandro Tonali will be forced to watch from the stands on Saturday night.
Bagging a first Champions League strike of the season away at PSG earlier in the week, attacking talisman Aleksander Isak will spearhead Howe’s charge here. The Swedish marksman will be joined in the final third by ex-Everton starlet Anthony Gordon.
As for the visitors, although Manchester United might have hoped that they had turned a real corner on either side of November’s international break, Erik ten Hag’s men certainly came crashing back down to earth in midweek. Eventually suffering an infamous European collapse away at Turkish giants Galatasaray as they played out a 3-3 stalemate, the Red Devils now find their Champions League dreams hanging by a thread. Only winning a trio of their previous seven appearances across all competitions, ten Hag’s side have shown some rather glaring inconsistencies. Potentially showing some signs of a hangover when they travel to St. James’ Park this weekend, United should also be worried by their most recent showdown against Saturday’s hosts. Hit with a 3-0 drumming when they welcomed Newcastle to Old Trafford on November 1st for an EFL Cup showdown, ten Hag’s men will face a stern challenge here.
Still dealing with a hamstring injury, Manchester United will once again be without ex-Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro on Saturday night. The Red Devils will also be unable to call upon the likes of Christian Eriksen, Lisandro Martinez and Tyrell Malacia.
While England international Marcus Rashford might have served a European suspension in midweek, United’s homegrown superstar will make a full return here. Likewise, overcoming a brief knock in Istanbul, summer recruit Rasmus Hojlund will spearhead ten Hag’s attack at St. James’ Park.
Key Factors to Consider
- When Newcastle and Manchester United last met back on November 1st, the Magpies picked up a 3-0 EFL Cup victory at Old Trafford.
- Aside from Newcastle’s EFL Cup final defeat against the Red Devils last season, that is the only loss that Howe’s side have suffered in their previous five showdowns against United.
- The Magpies have won seven of their previous eight appearances at St. James’ Park – a run that stems back to August 27th.
- Manchester United have won just a trio of their previous seven appearances across all competitions.
- Five of United’s last seven appearances across all competitions have finished with over 2.5 goals.
Suffering a major Champions League collapse earlier in the week, Manchester United will certainly face another stern examination here. Now needing a minor miracle in their bid to punch a knockout stage ticket, Newcastle should be smelling the chance to make another St. James’ Park statement. While the Magpies might have suffered their own European heartbreak away against PSG in midweek, Howe’s men have gained a reputation for their continued success on home soil. Winning seven of their previous eight battles in the north east, we are backing a home victory on Saturday night.
Verdict: Newcastle win
Best Odds: 1/1
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!