Manchester United vs Newcastle preview, Betting Tips and Prediction: Comfortable victory expected for Red Devils
Manchester United to win 3-0
Manchester United to win in both halves
Manchester United to win with a -2 handicap
Manchester United host Newcastle at Old Trafford on Saturday evening looking to recover their Premier League title challenge. While it started so well for Jose Mourinho’s men this season, they find themselves eight points behind neighbours Manchester City after a recent slump in results. There is some history between Manchester United and Newcastle dating back over 20 years; they were once on a level playing field, but while the Red Devils continue to chase glory every season, the Magpies are looking to consolidate in the division after gaining promotion under Rafa Benitez last season.
Benitez’s past success with Liverpool will add extra spice to this fixture, as will his rivalry with Mourinho. The Spaniard will want nothing more than to upset his former enemies, and he will likely set up to frustrate them in front of their own fans. But after a fantastic start to the season, consecutive defeats have seen them drop into the bottom half. United have not been in the best goalscoring form, but they have only lost once to Newcastle at home in 45 years and we don’t think they’ll have many issues continuing that record.
It had all started so well for Mourinho’s men, who for long periods were neck and neck with City at the top of the Premier League. At one stage, only alphabetical order separated the two sides. But now the gap is at a staggering eight points, thanks to defeats to Huddersfield and Chelsea away from home; it could even grow to 11 by the time this game kicks off. City face a tough test at Leicester earlier in the day, but they are expected to win rather comfortably. Romelu Lukaku found the net for Belgium last week, ending a rather alarming goal drought.
Newcastle had been flying high thanks to an organised defence and impressive set piece statistics. Yet things have begun to fall apart recently. Many expected the Magpies to struggle after a poor summer transfer window; their failure to sign an experienced, proven striker was particularly scrutinised, and that has cost them in a few games this season. Away defeats to Huddersfield and Brighton have recently been followed up by losses to Burnley and Bournemouth; all four were 1-0, which shows just how much they lack in attack.
The biggest bit of team news from a Manchester United point of view could be the return of Paul Pogba. The France midfielder has not featured since suffering a hamstring injury against FC Basel in the Champions League in September, but after weeks of confusion and uncertainty, it seems like he could finally be about to return. Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic remain long term absentees, while Marouane Fellaini is stepping up his recovery and could feature.
Newcastle have been hit by the news winger Christian Atsu could miss out. The Ghanaian has been one of their players of the season so far and he will be a huge miss. Summer signing Jacob Murphy will likely deputise. Equally as worrying is the fact captain Jamaal Lascelles limped off against Bournemouth last time out and is a doubt for this game, which could also come too soon for Paul Dummett.