Manchester United have lost matches to teams who have haunted them in the past just as their opening match of the season against Crystal Palace, and would hope to avoid a repeat as they visit St James’ Park on Saturday night in their first Premier League fixture following the international break.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were thumped 6-1 at home by Tottenham before the international break making it two defeats from three games – both at home – and 11 goals conceded.
The Carabao Cup, however, managed to bring some consolation for United as they won against Luton Town and Brighton.
But the United fanbase seems unconvinced by their late transfer business despite signing Edinson Cavani, Alex Telles, and Facundo Pellistri on deadline day while No 1 target Jadon Sancho remained at Borussia Dortmund.
Newcastle, who have won two of their opening four matches this term, will be looking to heap more pressure on Solskjaer as both sides lock horns on Saturday night.
Newcastle United’s team news
Newcastle’s skipper Jamaal Lascelles looks set to return to the squad against Manchester United having missed the last two games with a hamstring problem.
Fellow central defender Fabian Schar, after fearing he had aggravated a shoulder injury during the 3-1 victory over Burnley last time out, started all three of Switzerland’s games during the international break and is back in the matchday squad.
Ciaran Clark is still out with a thigh injury, Paul Dummett tore his tendon and midfielder Matty Longstaff are all expected to play for the U23s on Monday as they recover from injuries, but goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, midfielder Matt Ritchie, and striker Dwight Gayle are still out.
Manchester United’s team news
Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani won’t be present for United to face Newcastle as captain Harry Maguire is also a doubt for Saturday’s match.
Martial will begin a three-match ban after being sent off in the 6-1 home humbling by Tottenham while Cavani has been in quarantine since signing for the club on deadline day.
Harry Maguire will need to be assessed after sustaining a knock before his sending off for England on Wednesday.
There has been no update on Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Sergio Romero after the out-of-favour trio was left out of Manchester United’s European squad.
Stats and facts heading into the match (Backed by Opta)
- Newcastle have won two of their last three Premier League home games against Man Utd (L1), more than they had in their previous 13 against them at St James’ Park (W1 D3 L9).
- Manchester United lost this exact fixture 0-1 last season – they’ve not lost back-to-back away league games against Newcastle since December 1987.
- This is the first time Newcastle are facing Manchester United in a Premier League game while above them in the table since December 2013, when they won 1-0 at Old Trafford.
- Newcastle have had fewer shots on target than any other side in the Premier League this season (8). However, they’ve netted six goals, meaning they’ve scored with a league-high 75% of their attempts on target so far this term.
- Manchester United have shipped 11 Premier League goals so far this season, with only West Bromwich Albion (13) conceding more. It’s the second most the Red Devils have ever conceded three games into a league season, after 1930-31 (13).
- After a 14-game unbeaten run to finish the 2019-20 season, Man Utd have lost two of their three Premier League games so far this season. They’ve not lost as many as three of their opening four league games in a campaign since 1986-87.
- Away from home, Manchester United have won their last five Premier League matches, scoring at least twice each time. The Red Devils have never won six consecutive top-flight away matches while scoring more than once in each game.
- 17% of Manchester United’s Premier League goals since the start of last season have come from the penalty spot (12/71), the highest ratio among all clubs to have played in both campaigns.
Newcastle are enjoying some beautiful football currently having done good business over the summer with signings that have improved the squad. They would prove a hard tackle for United and could easily steal the show in a slim win at St. James Part tonight.
Verdict: Newcastle United 1-0 Manchester United