Newcastle United’s four match winning streak came to an abrupt and deserved ending on Wednesday as Swansea City ran out 3-0 winners at the Liberty Stadium.
The manner of performance just wasn’t good enough and whilst it should be noted that we didn’t get many decisions going for us, the fact remains that we didn’t play well enough on the night.
Following on from that we head to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United. Decisions don’t come easy at the home of the Red Devils either and the performance will have to be much improved to stand any chance of taking anything back North from Manchester.
Granted there is less of that heir of invincibility about Manchester United these days, and regular tormentor of recent years – Wayne Rooney – is suspended, but Manchester United are still a strong side and will be hurting from their midweek home defeat to Everton. With a point to prove, and a title race to tray and claw their way back in to, they will be dangerous.
Wayne Rooney is absent through suspension although Robin Van Persie could return after recovering from groin and toe injuries. Phil Jones is available once again after missing out against Everton through suspension.
News is awaited regarding the availability of Hatem Ben Arfa and Papiss Cisse who both missed the defeat to Swansea in midweek. Ryan Taylor remains out injured and will be for some time. Moussa Sissoko and Yohan Cabaye are both still one yellow card away from suspension.
Suffice to say that this isn’t going to make for good reading. Generally we tend to “give it a go” at Old Trafford but ultimately end up with nothing. We’ve never won there in the Premier League era and have only picked up the odd draw on occasion. In fact we’ve only managed to beat Manchester United four times in the Premier League era – all at St James’ Park – but can you name the scoreline and dates?
Last season we gave it some effort but ended up losing 4-3 courtesy of a last minute goal from Javier Hernandez. That was on Boxing Day following on from the 3-0 league defeat to the Red Devils at St James’ Park back in October 2012.
In the entire history of meetings at Old Trafford – all 75 meetings – Newcastle United have won on just nine occasions, the last time being in 1972. Manchester United have won 46 times with 20 draws making up the numbers.
Overall there have been 154 matches played, with Manchester United winning 77 times, Newcastle United winning 40 times with 37 draws making up the numbers.
Match stats and facts…
Manchester United have not lost successive home league games since May 2002.
Manchester United have conceded the second highest amount of goals from any side currently in the top half of the table. The only side to concede more is Newcastle.
Manchester United have won 78 Premier League points against Newcastle – more than any other club has against the Magpies.
Newcastle have the fourth worst away defence in the Premier League having conceded 14 goals already this term.
Much has been made of the “crisis” at Old Trafford but we’re still only 14 games into the season and there is a lot of time to go for a side that generally starts picking up form and momentum around about now.
Having said that, and despite firing blanks against Swansea in midweek, I do still fancy us to score in most games and if we can get that first goal it might be enough to tip the home fans over the edge.
As for us it’s a case of what to do? Is this the time to change things? What exactly can we change because, to me anyway, the lack of Hatem Ben Arfa and Papiss Cisse – in form or not – dramatically reduced our options to change anything.
I never expect anything from Old Trafford and unfortunately I feel no different this time around. I would love to be proved wrong but history would suggest that we’ll put in effort but come away empty handed.
Howay the lads!
Date: Saturday, 7th December, 2013
Venue: Old Trafford