4th placed Manchester United travel to the Tyneside for their 28th match day fixture in the Premier League and with arch-rivals and an in-form Liverpool side lurking for the final Champions League spot, they will know that a slip could cost them an arm and a leg come the end of the season. Newcastle, on the other hand, currently sit in the bottom half of the table and with no possibility of moving into the top half of the table in this match day.
Newcastle United are plagued by several injuries to crucial players in their squad. Cabella ( Knee), Dummet (Knee), De Jong (Lung), Tiote (Knee) and Elliot (Hip) are still recovering from their long term injuries and are set to miss this game and at least a few more to come. However, full-back Haidara is expected to make recover in time for the tie this midweek.
In form goal keeper David De Gea is suffering from a knock. However, he is expected to be fit in time to travel to the Tyneside. Should he remain absent, the club might be faced with a tough situation as Valdes too is recuperating from a knock. Defenders Shaw (Hamstring), Jones (Illness) and striker Van Persie expected to be in the mix for this tie as they have recovered from their injuries.
This will be the 158th meeting between these sides in all competitions.
Of the 158 games played between the sides, 79 have been won by Man United, 41 by Newcastle, while the rest have ended as draws.
At Home Newcastle have won 31 of their 77 ties against United compared to United’s 29 wins.
Krul, Janmaat, Williamson, Coloccini, Haidera, Obertan, Sissokho, Abeid, Ameobi, Perez, Cisse
De Gea, Smalling, Evans, Rojo, Valencia, Herrera, Blind, Young, Di Maria, Rooney, Van Persie
Colback faced the axe for the game against Aston Villa. However, the man labelled Ginger Pirlo by English Manager Roy Hodgson has impresses in the Newcastle colours since moving from Tyneside rivals Sunderland and would add to the steel of the Newcastle midfield which would be very crucial for them to eke out a result. Manchester United boast of the most lethal set of attackers, if not of the attacking unit on the whole and the responsibility of stopping the marauding attack will largely fall on the shoulders of the deep lying Colback. In the absence of Tiote, the Englishman will need to act as a destroyer apart from going about his game of stitching the team as a unit with his passing and vision.
Gary Neville’s criticism of Blind was deemed unnecessary by certain quarters of fans simply because his destroyer abilities in the middle of the park freed up enormous attacking resources for the Red Devils. He has since shown more than just lateral passing abilities and is touted as the man running this United midfield by many. Blind’s ability to hold on to the ball and work in spaces he is afforded in the midfield would largely determine United’s domination, if at all, through the game. Blind appears as one of those players who keep the team ticking and yet operate in the shadows of others and should he retain that ability in the game against Newcastle, they could be faced with an issue as Blind has shown vision far ahead of his age.
|2014/2015||Man. Utd.||3 – 1||Newcastle Utd.||Premier League|
|2013/2014||Newcastle Utd.||0 – 4||Man. Utd.||Premier League|
|Man. Utd.||0 – 1||Newcastle Utd.||Premier League|
|2012/2013||Man. Utd.||4 – 3||Newcastle Utd.||Premier League|
|Newcastle Utd.||0 – 3||Man. Utd.||Premier League|
With season coming to its business end, every match and every point increases in relevance. We expect Manchester United to win this game narrowly.