Match Previews

Match Preview: Newcastle United vs Manchester United

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Happy new year! 2019 is here and United visit Newcastle to begin the year.

Another resounding victory for Ole Gunnar Solskjær means that confidence is only growing at Old Trafford, although Rafael Benítez will be hoping for a change in form to start the calendar year off with a bang.

St. James’ Park will host a clash between two currently contrasting teams – but there may well be another shock on the cards.

Kick-off: 20:00 [GMT]
Venue: St. James’ Park
Referee: Andre Marriner

UK television channel: Sky Sports Main Event/Premier League

Reverse fixture: Newcastle (Kenedy, Muto) 2-3 United (Mata, Martial, Sánchez)

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The Magpies

Position: 15th

Recent form: DLDWL

Top scorer: Salomón Rondón [5]

Most assists: Matt Ritchie [3]

One to watch: Kenedy

Previous result: Watford [A] 1-1

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Injuries/suspensions (estimated return)

  • Ciaran Clark – ankle (day to day)
  • Karl Darlow – elbow (one week)
  • Federico Fernández – hip (late fitness test)
  • Ki Sung-Yueng – international duty (unknown)

Expected lineup

(4-4-1-1) Dubrabka; Yedlin, Lascelles, Schär, Dummett; Ritchie, Shelvey, Diamé, Atsu; Pérez; Róndon.

Quote from the boss

“They are so good, if you want to get points against them, if you want to win against them, you have to perform really, really well.” – Rafael Benítez

Next match: Blackburn Rovers [H] 5/1/19

The Red Devils

Talking points

2018 ended on a smashing high, with a 4-1 hammering of AFC Bournemouth to close the year in style and make it 12 goals in three opening games for Solskjær.

Paul Pogba ran the show as he scored two and assisted one, but Marcus Rashford shone once again to continue his sensational form.

Eric Bailly was sent off in frustration fashion to slightly blotch the day, although Solskjær was again very satisfied with how the almost new-look team played.

The boss (credited for totally changing the mood at Old Trafford along with assistant Mike Phelan) became just the third manager of in United’s history to win his opening three games, but will be starting to think he might be here longer than five more months. Mark Dempsey has also joined the coaching staff.

It took Romelu Lukaku just 132 to score when he was substituted on, which was the perfect return to action for him after time on compassionate leave.

Following a spell on the sidelines and dismal 2018, Alexis Sánchez is ready to return from injury – but will find it difficult to break into a side oozing with quality up front.

The new year is a chance to get United closer to where they belong, as Solskjær gains approvable from the supporters.

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Injuries/suspensions (estimated return)

  • Eric Bailly – red card (three matches)
  • Marcos Rojo – knock (unknown)
  • Chris Smalling – foot (two weeks)

Expected lineup

(4-3-3) De Gea; Young, Jones, Lindelöf, Shaw; Herrera, Matić, Pogba; Lingard, Rashford, Martial.

Quote from the boss

“Never ever, ever, ever forget where you are and what badge you’re wearing because we have a different history and tradition to other clubs. We’ve had the best boss in the world. We’ve had Sir Matt before then. We have a way of behaving and a way of playing.” – Ole Gunnar Solskjær

Next match: Reading [H] 5/1/19

Potential key battles

– Marcus Rashford vs Jamal Lascelles

– Paul Pogba vs Mohamed Diamé

– Victor Lindelöf vs Salomón Rondón

Match facts [credit: FotMob]

  • United have scored 29% of their total Premier League goals this season under Solskjær
  • Newcastle have not won back-to-back home league games against United since 1987
  • The Red Devils have only lost one of their last eight league games against Newcastle United (W5 D2)
  • The Magpies have lost seven of their 10 home Premier League games this season (W2 D1) only in 2012-13 (9) and 2013-14 (8) have they lost more at St James’ Park in a single campaign in the competition

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Enjoy the match!

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