The international break is over and Manchester United return to Premier League action looking for redemption after the humiliating loss against Tottenham two weeks ago. The 6-1 defeat by the Londoners capped a miserable performance from the Red Devils. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be looking for an immediate response to our joint-heaviest defeat in the Premier League era. We look to climb up the table with Newcastle United four points and several places above us.
United have endured their worst possible start to a league campaign both on and off the pitch with us currently sitting 16th in the table with only one win and two defeats from our opening three games. We have not lost these many opening games of the campaign since the 1986-87 season. The feel good factor which the club had after our 14 game unbeaten run has all but gone now.
Media speculation surrounds our manager Ole with Ed Woodward willing to sack the Norwegian and replace him former Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino if things don’t improve soon.
Rumours of unrest amongst the United players have been shut down after a supposed dressing room bust up at half time during the game against Tottenham involving Bruno Fernandes. The Portugese national said this week to Sport TV, “I’m only thankful for the manager because he was the one who wanted me and believed in me. The tactics he uses are perfect for me.”
Fernandes added, “It’s true the manager decided to take me off against Tottenham but he told me it was because the game was over and we have a lot more to go for. Of course I wasn’t happy about being substituted but I understood it. I didn’t speak out or say anything that could harm the team.”
Questions remain over the United defence giving their inept performance and we will be hoping to see much better from these players given we have leaked eleven goals in the first three league games.
As for our opponents Newcastle United, they are looking for back to back home wins against us for the first time since 1987. They will be going into the game with much more confidence after securing a 3-1 win against Burnley in their last league game. They are currently unbeaten in four games across all competitions.
Teams: Manchester United vs Newcastle United
Date: October 17th 2020 (Saturday)
KO Time: 20:00 BST
Competition: Premier League
Stadium: St. James Park
Referee: Craig Pawson
Managers: Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Steve Bruce
Anthony Martial is serving a three match suspension for picking up a red card against Tottenham. Deadline day signing Edinson Cavani won’t be available as he must serve his quarantine period. His debut is likely to be against his former club PSG in the Champions League.
Our other new signing Alex Telles from Porto would probably make the bench as he only returned to United on Thursday after the internationals.
On the injury front, Phil Jones is out and Axel Tuanzebe continues to step up his recovery.
Ole mentioned in the pre-match press conference about the reaction he wants to see from the players, “We need a response, as we always do. After you lose a game, you just want to win the next one. Of course that’s the response. We want to go up there, try to dominate and control the game. The result is of course very important but I want to see the body language and our mindset as being positive again, because you don’t get anywhere being negative. So we’re going to go out there , go for a win, and see players who want to work for the points.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjær mentioned that captain Harry Maguire is a doubt for the Newcastle game. Maguire picked up a knock before he had been sent off during England’s Nations League defeat against Denmark midweek.
Journalist and United We Stand founder Andy Mitten asked Ole his thoughts on last year’s game being a low point and how far the team has come since. “Well, it was a disappointing game of course last year. We should have won it. We had a few chances to win it but then young Longstaff scored a goal from a counter-attack and they beat us 1-0. “
He added, “I think we’ve come [on] quite a bit since then as you said. We’ve done well, getting to third last season, but now it’s about getting the three points in this game because we know we’ve started badly. I know Brucey and Newcastle have started really well – seven points already, in the quarters of the Carabao Cup and it’s looking positive for them. For us, we have to go up there and dominate. We have to show that we can handle setbacks as we did have last time.”
For our opponents Newcastle, manager Steve Bruce has been boosted with the return of a number of players. Ciaran Clark, Paul Dummett, Jamal Lascelles and Matty Longstaff should be available.
Jamal Lewis and Miguel Almiron had been doubts but are expected to be in the match day squad. The danger man that United need to watch out for is Allan Saint-Maximin who has just signed a new six year contract with the Magpies.
Manchester United Premier League form: LWL
Manchester United form (all competitions): LWWWL
Newcastle United Premier League form: WLDW
Newcastle United form (all competitions): WLWDWW
- Away from home, Manchester United have won their last five Premier League matches, scoring at least twice each time. The Red Devils have never won six consecutive top-flight away matches while scoring more than once in each game. (source: Sky Sports)
- 17% of Manchester United’s Premier League goals since the start of last season have come from the penalty spot (12/71), the highest ratio among all clubs to have played in both campaigns. (source: Sky Sports).
- Manchester United have won 29 of 50 Premier League meetings against Newcastle United.
De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, Pogba, Matic, Fernandes, Mata, Rashford and Greenwood.
United will want to bounce back straight away and put in a performance against Newcastle United. It is a tricky fixture against the Magpies who will be more confident than us.
We must step up to the plate with those players who played against Tottenham needing to play well. Without Martial due to suspension, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood will be leading the front line.
Our away record is good as we have not lost away since January in the Premier League. The three points is much needed. A win will boost confidence going ahead into an important run of games for us.
Manchester United 2-1 Newcastle United