Newcastle United brings the curtain down on this weekend’s Super Sunday as they take on Manchester United at St James’ Park.
Newcastle can move out of the relegation zone with victory whilst Man Utd will climb back into the top ten with all three points.
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Jonjo Shelvey and Jetro Willems are set to feature for Newcastle after recovering from respective hamstring and knee injuries.
Dwight Gayle is a doubt as he continues his recovery from a lengthy calf injury but could be fit enough to be named on the bench, whilst Isaac Hayden starts a three match ban after being sent off last weekend at Leicester.
Matt Ritchie could return from an ankle injury after the international break whilst Florian Lejeune is a month away from making a return from a long-term knee injury.
Man Utd will be without Jesse Lingard after the midfielder limped off with a hamstring injury near the end of Thursday’s goalless Europa League draw at AZ Alkmaar.
Anthony Martial (thigh) and Luke Shaw (hamstring) are both doubts but Aaron Wan-Bissaka could return from tonsillitis which kept him sidelined in midweek.
Phil Jones (undisclosed) and Paul Pogba (ankle) could feature after the international break whilst Eric Bailly and Timothy Fosu-Mensah remain long-term absentees.
Newcastle have taken five points from their last five league games but only one of those outings resulted in a win, which came against Tottenham at the end of August.
Man Utd have suffered just one defeat in their last six across all competitions, but are however winless in their last 10 away matches since beating PSG in the Champions League Last 16 in early March.
- Newcastle have taken just four points from their last five meetings with Manchester United (W1, D1, L3).
- Man Utd’s five goals across both meetings last season each came from five different goal scorers.
- Andreas Pereira has already registered ten shots in six league appearances this season, compared to just eight shots in 15 appearances last season.
- Two Newcastle players have made errors leading to two of their 13 conceded goals this season, whereas Axel Tuanzebe is the only Man U player to have made an error that led to a conceded goal.
- Newcastle have made the third highest amount of clearances so far this season, with 177 clearances in seven games.
Newcastle were a total disaster last weekend but this a huge opportunity to correct their wrongs, particularly given how well they played against fellow ‘Big Six’ opposition in Arsenal and Tottenham already this season.
Man Utd meanwhile need to raise their game after Thursday’s poor performance in which they mustered zero shots on target at AZ Alkmaar, which isn’t like the Red Devils and neither is their current away form.
Both teams therefore need to show improvement here otherwise there will be plenty of soul-searching during the international break for those left behind, and a possible managerial sacking too.
As for the match itself, I seriously can’t see much entertainment other than a draw given the issues affecting both teams.
Prediction: Newcastle United 1-1 Manchester United
Result: Newcastle United 1-0 Manchester United