Man Utd (A): Pre-match thoughts, predicted line-ups & team news

The outcome of this one won’t define our season, but the tables need to turn soon – and a surprise result here would give us a huge confidence boost ahead of a ‘generous’ run of fixtures between now and the new year.

It’s another game against one of the league’s top 6 (our FIFTH in eight games so far), however things are far from rosy within the Man Utd camp at the moment.

They’ve not won at home since the opening game of the season, having lost 0-3 to Spurs, being put out the cup to Derby and drawing to Wolves and Valencia in their last four games at Old Trafford (also losing 3-1 at West Ham in their last league game).

Mourinho’s job is under serious pressure. If they fail to get an early goal, the atmosphere could play right into our hands. We MUST take advantage of that.

I back us defensively (especially if Fernandez and Dummett are back), but our inability to put pressure on opposition defences has been a real worry.



We need to give them something to think about and it may be time we saw a slightly different approach in attack if we’re going to do that – with us scoring just one goal in three away games so far this season.

Preferred XI

I don’t expect Benitez to go with the above team, but I think it could work well – especially when it seems essential that we make a few big changes after several stale performances.
 
We’re going to have to make the most of our chances on the counter attack, and Perez and Joselu are not the men for that unfortunately.
 
Not only does Perez lack pace, he loses the ball too easily and isn’t contributing anything in attack at the moment. I’m not quite sure who we’d put in his place if Muto started up top, but Murphy would be my choice.
 
It’s debatable whether he’d offer that much more than Perez, but his pace and ability to run with the ball could hurt them more on the counter than Perez would for me – and the same can be said about Muto, with him looking far more sharp and lively than Joselu despite so little game time.
 
Unfortunately, I think Rafa will go with Joselu again. The ‘Rafa knows best’ line has been applicable 99 times out of 100 when it’s come to Newcastle over the past few years, however I can’t see anything but us struggling if it’s Perez and Joselu up top again. A change is needed.
 
On the plus side, Fernandez and Dummett looks set to return (provided they do pass late fitness tests) and that would almost certainly see Kenedy pushed into a more attacking role after his decent showing at left-back last weekend.

Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Dubravka – Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Dummett – Diame, Shelvey – Ritchie, Perez, Kenedy – Joselu. 

The Opposition

Aside from the obvious (Pogba, Lukaku etc.). here’s a few ‘ones to watch’ in the Man Utd side:

Marouane Fellaini: He’s not easy on the eye, but he’ll be a big threat from set pieces and will disrupt things in the middle of the pitch. An awkward player to play against and one of the biggest threats in the Premier League when it comes to putting crosses into the box.

Eric Bailly: A superb athlete and probably MUFC’s best defender. Smalling and Lindelof never convince me so if Bailly struggles, they may struggle.

Rashford and Martial: They may not both start, but both are very direct, possess frightening pace and have an eye for goal as they cut in from wide areas.

Predicted Man Utd XI – (4-3-3) – De Gea – Valencia, Smalling, Bailly, Shaw – Matic, Fellaini, Pogba – Rashford, Lukaku, Martial. 

Team news

After missing Leicester last weekend, Fernandez and Dummett looks set to return providing they pass fitness tests – however Rondon has been ruled out once again with a thigh injury.

Ashley Young is back in contention to return but Marcos Rojo, Jesse Lingard and Ander Herrera are all ruled out

Match Prediction

It may all depend what Manchester Utd turn up here. If Mourinho manages to get a reaction out of them then I worry, but there’s been no sign of that recently – so let’s hope that continues.

Either way, we’re going to have to be so much better if we want to get anything out of this. It’s essential that we stay switched on at the back and frustrate them in attack (something that will only worsen what could be a toxic Old Trafford atmosphere), however we’ll have to be far more decisive and penetrative going forward if we’re to trouble them at the back.

My heart hopes for a sneaky 1-1 draw, but I worry we won’t score – and I can’t see us keeping them out for 90 minutes.

They may be struggling, but they still have several world class players who we’ll struggle to deal with.

PredictionMan Utd 1-0 Newcastle

Howay the lads!

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at [email protected] & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

58 thoughts on “Man Utd (A): Pre-match thoughts, predicted line-ups & team news

  1. Rafa gets a 60,000 pound fine for mumbling about a Ref. 60 fcking k. Do these people have no concept of money!

    40 hours a week on a tenner an hour for 50 weeks a year is 20,000. So yer average McDonald’s worker would have to work for 3 years to pay Rafa’s fine.

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  2. Kim – Could have done with a draw really. We’re already 6 points behind Brighton and I’d like to think even us will be competing with them in the relegation battle. Might be being optimistic though…

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  3. Mirror reporting Mourhino on his bike regardless of tomorrow’s result. Fancy that will encourage the fans to get behind him. Let’s hope the players don’t feel the same…

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  4. Stu, I want brighton to stay up mate, can think of plenty before them I’d like to see drop, but I get what you say. All the same, can’t bring myself to wish ill towards Hoots or his team.

    By the way enjoy the match with Eric.

    Would love us to snatch something today and with better quality up front I would really fancy us but I see a loss again sadly.
    Maybe a late worldy from jon jo to seal it ? More likely that **** Fellaini scores from a corner . 🙄

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  5. Stuart79:
    Mirror reporting Mourhino on his bike regardless of tomorrow’s result. Fancy that will encourage the fans to get behind him. Let’s hope the players don’t feel the same…

    Club denying it now Stu apparently .

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  6. Off topic, but anyone see that BBC 1 programme – Drowning in plastic ?
    My god we have royally ****ed our planet, heartbreaking stuff 🙁 , blue planet only touched on it.
    We are at least trying to put things right but I fear much of the damage is already done.

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  7. So the club are saying the club isn’t selling due to fan protest affecting interest.
    Really, nowt to do with goal post constantly getting moved and getting pissed and causing disturbances in Dubai bars and ****ing PCP about and, oh yeah, not ACTUALLY WANTING TO SELL IT . 👿
    Anyway to quell the protest and make the fuss go away isn’t it, they must think were stupid.
    Ashley out, keep up the protest .

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  8. From the fans forum edited minutes

    “There is a shared aim to improve training facilities but in prioritizing its needs, the club feels its overall budget is currently better spent on the team.”

    😯 God help us when they don’t prioritize the team then.

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  9. Oh and Rafas fine is a joke, he said nowt wrong, flattered mariner and stated facts re the red cards.
    Completely disproportionate fine to comment .

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  10. Simon Bird‏ @SimonBird_ · 15h15 hours ago

     More

    Newcastle still for sale. Buyers put off by “scrutiny”. Club says for a fair price.

    Would that be the HMRC scrutiny then Mike ? 😉

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  11. Those Forum minutes are edited purely by the club. Total nonsense with no point. They now read like a positive statement from the club instead of actual minutes. Does Bishop really think we’re all complete thickos? He’s so poor at PR I can see how he fits Ashley’s management choices. Only the worst for me.

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  12. This Rafa fine is still p!ssing me off. They fine him 60k based on the fact that he can afford it, not based on what he did? If I was caught speeding at 100 miles an hour on the A1 I would be fined 200 quid. If Rafa was, he would also be fined 200 pounds.

    I know there is so much money sloshing around the Pl that the suits wants to make sure a “punishment” is meaningful but in my world saying something mildly off base about a Rafa does not warrant a 60k fine, whatever Rafa makes a year.

    It is not just that Rafa is the NUFC manager either. The punishment should fit the crime and fining someone 60k because they can afford it and it will in the PL suits’ views teach them a lesson is a joke.

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  13. It is almost like the 19th century where if you stole a sheep you got sent to Australia. The punishment does not fit the crime and then their descendants come on here (AMF and BrisV) and spout nonsense.

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  14. If I was Rafa I would challenge the premier league. For any other “crime” you are sentenced according to standards and norms, not what you can afford to pay. It might be sort of arbitrary but it is not based upon whether you can afford the fine. That seems a bit stupid to me.

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  15. Fancy us to take the lead today. But ultimately lose. I think Man Utd fans will be up for it which might inspire them to at least match our effort.

    Eric, I will be the one with the “Make America Great Again” cap. 😂 Nah today I have a white cap on and a grey gilet with blue jeans and black trainers. God knows where I will be as I don’t know the place but come over and buy me a drink! 🤗

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  16. It’s a pity is not winter as I would be able to recognize you coz you would be the only one with a t-shirt on when it was 20 below zero outside.

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  17. I think we got the wrong Murphy… maybe we could persuade them to change over, no one would know…😳

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  18. Sharpy17:
    Kim – I think Stu and Eric will be dancing round the bar by now

    early days mate and I ain’t counting any chickens yet.
    Great feeling though while it last

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  19. We need another to really rock em I reckon, they won’t be this bad second half . And they’ll be looking to buy a pen any way they can.

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  20. Unbelievable first half. Absolutely nailed on penalty. But it’s Man United right? Cannot believe we are not 3-0 up now. Muto, Perez and Kenedy all doing well. Shelvey’s passing is excellent. Let’s keep it up.

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  21. UN FUCKING BELIEVABLE
    i’m done with this **** now, bloody ref we should of been 0.3 up first half asc well
    Heart breaking this.

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  22. Gutted… that f.ucking ref was from Manchester too… surprising that he missed that penalty..? Not surprised at all.. 😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡

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