Following a triumphant return (almost) to European football, Manchester United will resume their Premier League season when they welcome Newcastle United on Saturday afternoon. After two back-to-back 1-0 wins in the league, the Red Devils managed to put three goals past Club Brugge in midweek thanks to a stunning brace from Memphis Depay. Louis Van Gaal should be a expecting a show in similar vein at home against a Newcastle United side that is still getting used to the methods of their new manager and coaching staff. Manchester United fans were expecting the club’s month-long pursuit of Pedro to prove successful, but only to come away disappointed by Chelsea’s eleventh hour bid to prise him away, meaning only a win and 3 points will lift the mood around Old Trafford.
On the contrary, Newcastle United announced their new signing Florian Thauvin from Olympique Marseille on a five year contract for a reported fee of £12m with Remy Cabella going the other way on loan. Their trip to the North West will see Steve McLaren return to the club where he worked for three years from 1999 to 2001 as part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s backroom staff adding more spice to a usually heated fixture. The Magpies have had a dismal record at Old Trafford with only one win in the last 21 games, a 1-0 win in 2013, suggesting the manager will be determined to lay down the marker by upsetting the home crowd. Although, they travel to Old Trafford with one of the poorest away records in the country, including last week’s 2-0 defeat at the Liberty Stadium.
Manchester United, it’s weird to say after last season, have got the least amount of injuries in the league now with Phil Jones (thrombosis) the only one currently on the treatment table. Marcos Rojo is back in training with the first team and could start on the bench on Saturday and Marouane Fellaini will serve the final match of his domestic suspension.
On the other hand, Newcastle United are suffering the injury curse at the moment with about six players nursing ailments of various degrees. Key midfielder Moussa Sissoko will definitely miss the trip after he was taken off last week with a muscular injury. Steven Taylor, Paul Dummett, Emmaniel Riviere and Sylvain Marveaux are also ruled out but Siem De Jong is said to have recovered and might feature on the bench. Full-back Janmaat will serve his one-match ban after the sending off against Swansea.
- Manchester United have won 15 of their last 19 games at Old Trafford.
- The Magpies have managed just 2 goals in the last 4 encounters with Manchester United.
- Morgan Schneiderlin has run further than any other Manchester United player so far in 2015-16. (7.7 miles v Spurs, 8.1 miles v Aston Villa)
Newcastle United 0 – 1 Manchester United (Mar ’15)
Manchester United 3 – 1 Newcastle United (Dec ’14)
Newcastle United 0 – 4 Manchester United (Apr ’14)
Manchester United 0 – 1 Newcastle United (Dec ’13)
Manchester United 4 – 3 Newcastle United (Dec ’12)
Juan Mata – Manchester United
After a really good season under Louis Van Gaal amidst all the confusion with respect to his position and sustainability in the starting 11, it’s time Mata took his United career to the next level by showing what he can do on a more consistent basis, now that he has become a constant fixture in the team. The Spaniard managed to create 50 chances in 33 appearances for the Red Devils and scored some really vital goals helping United overcome a stern challenge from Liverpool to claim the fourth and final Champions League qualifying spot. Having picked up where he left off last season with a glorious assist to Januzaj in the 1-0 away win against Aston Villa, more of that can be expected of the diminutive genius week in week out from the right flank this season, now that Juan Mata feels more important at Manchester United than ever. The Spanish international said,
“I feel important in the team, I’m playing every game and have a lot of confidence.”
Jack Colback – Newcastle United
Following a jaw-dropping transfer from Sunderland to crosstown rivals Newcastle United, Jack Colback has quickly risen to becoming one of their most important players in the squad. The ‘ginger Pirlo’ or whatever his nickname sounds like, scored 4 goals from midfield in 35 appearances (35 starts) making him their third highest scorer last season, showing the amount of influence he has in this current Newcastle team. He also managed to create 44 chances (6 assists, highest at Newcastle) with the best passing accuracy for an outfield player in the side. Although conversely, Colback has also made the highest number of defensive errors for an outfielder (5) something he can’t afford to on Saturday, to give his side a better chance at winning the game.
Manchester United are very close to making Old Trafford a fortress again while Newcastle United remain travel-sick. This could only go one way. A repeat of last season’s result, for me.
Manchester United 3-1 Newcastle United
Have a wager!
- Manchester United are at 2/5 via Betfair to win at home
- Newcastle not fancied at all at 17/2 via Ladbrokes, might be worth a pop that one!
- The draw is at a favourable 4/1 via Betway