The early kick off on Saturday sees David Moyes’ Manchester United take on Alan Pardew’s high-flying Newcastle United.
Manchester United go into the game off the back of another home defeat, this time going down 1-0 to Moyes’ former club Everton. Surprisingly, Manchester United have only won three home games this season.
Newcastle United go into the game one point and one place ahead of their opponents and they themselves will be looking for a better result than their previous outing, a 3-0 defeat to Swansea at the Liberty Stadium.
David Moyes will be without long term injury victims Darren Fletcher, Michael Carrick and Robin Van Persie. He will also have to make do without his talisman Wayne Rooney, who picked up a fifth booking of the season against Everton and will serve a 1 game ban.
Alan Pardew could have Hatem Ben Arfa available after illness and his only absentees are Ryan Taylor and Papiss Cisse.
- Manchester United have already lost 4 games this season, 1 less than they lost during the whole of last season. (2012-13)
- Newcastle United have not won at Old Trafford in the last 29 attempts, losing 21 of those games.
- Patrice Evra has scored in the last two matches against Newcastle United.
- Saturday’s game will be the first that neither Wayne Rooney or Robin Van Persie has been in the Manchester United team for a Barclays Premier League game this season.
Manchester United: Shinji Kagawa
With Wayne Rooney banned and Robin Van Persie still working his way back to full fitness, a lot of the creative responsibility will fall on the shoulders of the Japanese International. Kagawa, who has started the last two games in his favourite position just off the main striker will be hoping to show the United faithful exactly why he is held in high regard by many football fans. With an 83% attacking pass completion rate, Kagawa is extremely dangerous when near the opposition penalty area.
Newcastle United: Yohan Cabaye
Everything good that Newcastle United do goes through the French International. It was no surprise that he was the subject of a formal transfer bid from Arsenal in the summer. Alan Pardew will hope that February 1st 2014 comes and goes and that he can still call on the French midfield star. With an open play pass completion rate of 79%, it is clear that the majority of Newcastle’s play goes through him.
I am predicting goals in this game with both teams struggling to keep clean sheets. Manchester United rarely lose two games in a row at Old Trafford and it’s not a happy hunting round for The Magpies.
I predict a 3-2 win for The Red Devils