Man Utd (A) Pre-match thoughts, team news, possible line-ups & score prediction

Ahead of the away game to Manchester United, you can use this Betfair promo code to bet on the game and our chances of getting a win.

It would be nice if we could take control of our own destiny in this latest fight for survival…not spend our Saturday night hoping Fulham don’t beat Sheffield United (which they did!).

After all, we’ve seen Burnley and Brighton pick up huge wins over Liverpool of late, with West Brom also earning a point against Man Utd last weekend.

A lot is said about Fulham’s recent run of fixtures that’s helped them move to within THREE of ourselves, however this relegation battle is still well and truly in our own hands.

What I am saying is, we need to see a repeat of the confident and convincing performance that saw us beat Everton 2-0 last month – not that passive and defeatist display at Chelsea which stunk of a side who never believed they’d win before a ball was even kicked.

Yes we’ve been dealt a series of cruel injury blows, but there’d been signs of promise before Monday’s shoddy effort at Stamford Bridge. We can’t let that evaporate or hope that there’s simply three teams poorer than us – especially when we play twice before Scott Parker’s men travel to Palace.

It’s a sad existence, but I want to see us stay up convincingly – not be biting my nails every time I watch Fulham between now and May 23rd!

Team news

  • Callum Wilson – Out with a hamstring injury.
  • Fabian Schar – Out with a serious knee injury, but his operation has gone well.
  • Javier Manquillo – Out with an ankle ligament injury, however Bruce says he’s responded well to treatment.
  • Jeff Hendrick – Back from a one-game ban.
  • Federico Fernandez – Back in training but not ready to return for this one. Should be back in the squad for the Wolves game next weekend.

For the hosts, Cavani and van de Beek look set for late fitness tests, McTominay is a ‘doubt’ and Pogba has been ruled out.

Predicted lineup

(4-3-1-2): Darlow – Krafth, Lascelles, Clark, Lewis – Willock, Hayden, Shelvey – Almiron – Fraser, Saint-Maximin.

Dwight Gayle OUT, Ryan Fraser IN?

I’d like to see two changes and Dubravka replacing Darlow, but Steve Bruce’s latest comments on the goalkeeping situation suggest he still believes the latter ‘deserves’ to keep his place between the sticks.

We could do with a more capable right-back than Krafth – especially when Rashford will be more than likely running at him – but with Yedlin sold and Manquillo injured, the Swede seems likely to continue. Murphy is an option but only tends to play when he’s a wing-back in a five man defence.

Shelvey’s lack of pace, energy or intensity is an ongoing concern, but Hendrick isn’t the answer and Bruce seems unlikely to hand either of the Longstaff brothers a sudden start – even if Matty probably deserves another shot in the side after doing little wrong before he was axed.

In attack, Fraser has to return. He created more chances in 20 minutes than any other Newcastle player did all night at Chelsea and was also a key cog in our 2-0 win at Everton. Saint-Maximin was very poor last time out, but I can see him and Fraser playing in wide forward roles, with Almiron drifting in between a No 10 and false No 9 role – giving us a trio that could hurt Man Utd on the counter.

Match prediction

I think we’ll learn from that passive first half at Stamford Bridge and get at them a bit more from the off, but that will be a risk reward approach.

This Man Utd side aren’t great defensively, however they can rip you apart at the other end if you commit too many bodies forward or leave gaps in behind.

I fancy us to take an early lead but ultimately struggle to cope with their attacking stars, with Krafth vs Rashford a scary prospect and the outstanding Bruno Fernandes also a player who could benefit from any lapses in concentration from the likes of Jonjo Shelvey.

Either way, we need to approach this one like a team who BELIEVE they could come away with a big result – not lie down and accept Man Utd are a “very good side”…something I’m sure Steve Bruce will remind us all when he speaks to BT Sport before the game!

Prediction: Man Utd 3-1 Newcastle

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.

90 thoughts on “Man Utd (A) Pre-match thoughts, team news, possible line-ups & score prediction

  1. Feel for Willock for the pen, he tried to pull out of the tackle & I think he’s been really good tonight

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  2. I really don’t get not putting Carroll or Gayle on – oh there we go. 15 mins for Gayle to get a brace 👍🏻

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  3. Jabba will let Bruce have a crack against Wolves (and lose) and leave it too late to
    Change as per normal

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  4. Only a man who knows he’s completely safe in his job can walk off at the end of a 3-1 defeat being only 3 points out of the relegation zone and be smiling and chatting away with the opposition manager.

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  5. Bruce is a sh!t manager, but we have some really poor players in our squad too like.

    Kraft is garbage , Lewis is poor, Shelvey is poor, Murphy is garbage, Fraser is poor & Joelinton is just the worst player I have ever seen in a Newcastle shirt.

    With or without Bruce, I really question if we have enough quality in this squad to survive.

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  6. If you were Dwight Gayle coming on with 10-15mins to go each time for a team that has effectively turned their back on you – haven’t offered you a new contract, won’t start you or give you any real chance to effect a game – how much effort would you put in?!.

    Let’s be right, he’s walking into most Championship sides next season if he wanted to & I reckon there will be one or two bottom end PL sides looking at him too.

    The same could be said for Carroll – uncertain if he’s gonna get another contract. That said, has he got 1 goal since he’s returned?.

    Do we promote one of the under 23s to see what they can offer?.

    Without Wilson there is no goals in this squad.

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  7. We’ve went through a run of very difficult fixtures. I remember saying back at the beginning of January that I thought we’d struggle for points until March – we’ve come through those fixtures now and actually picked up more points than I thought they would.

    But looking ahead at our next 7 or 8 fixtures, there are points to be had – but without Wilson, I really don’t know now.

    Fulham will have a run of tough fixtures to work through as well, but they have got some good players in – they even have Mitrovic to come in.

    There are a lot of points still to get, but without goals they aren’t that easy to get!!.

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  8. We have lost 12 out of 16 games. Has any other manager in PL history had such a bad run and survived? Excluding Chris Wilder.

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  9. I just looked at our U23s side and Yannick Toure is the only forward in that squad too – a squad that is currently sat rock bottom of their league on 13pts – Leeds top it on 40 and even Sunderland U23s are above us!!.

    Our club is being ran into the ground!!. Bruce is a small part of the problem.

    If we go down with Ashley again we sink as low as Sunderland imo.

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  10. Sharpy17:
    Only a man who knows he’s completely safe in his job can walk off at the end of a 3-1 defeat being only 3 points out of the relegation zone and be smiling and chatting away with the opposition manager.

    I made the same observation to lews carer

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  11. Good news is we are slowly coming out of the lockdown. The bad news is we’re closer to being able to see NUFC in the flesh.

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