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

I’d love to be more positive heading into this one, but it feels like a meeting of two clubs at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to momentum.

Ok, Man Utd haven’t been all that convincing in their last two, drawing at Southampton before coming away with an unconvincing 1-0 win at Wolves, however they have Cristiano Ronaldo ready for his second debut, a full crowd bound to be in good voice and French star Raphael Varane starting his first game at Old Trafford.

As for us, we’ll be without our talisman Callum Wilson, are yet to win this season – throwing away a lead in the 96th minute last time out – have conceded eight goals in our three games and have a manager who seemed utterly cheesed off in his Friday morning presser….a few days after he snuck off to Portugal for a bit of sun.

If our poor start to the season wasn’t sobering enough, we are now suffering a hangover from a disastrous end to the summer transfer window – adding to the misery and frustration that had already been lingering around this ghost ship of a club that simply seeks to exist these days.

It’d be great to spoil the party and surprise those expecting Ronaldo to rip through our struggling defence, yet it’s hard to see that happening for a whole host of reasons, sadly.

Team news

  • Callum Wilson – Ruled out with a thigh strain. Bruce reckons he’ll be missing for a few weeks.
  • Ryan Fraser – Ruled out after twisting his ankle while away with Scotland.
  • Miguel Almiron – Eligible to play, despite Paraguay’s complaint to FIFA.
  • Karl Darlow – Back in contention after training over the past 10 days – but will he be fit enough to start?
  • Isaac Hayden – Should return after training over the international break.
  • Jonjo Shelvey – Remains out with a calf injury.
  • Martin Dubravka – Still out with an infected foot following surgery.
  • Paul Dummett – Trained prior to the Southampton game but was absent from Thursday’s session.
  • Elliot Anderson – Back in training after missing our entire pre-season programme.

For the hosts, Cristiano Ronaldo is fit and ready to start says OGS, while Fred could yet be eligible to play – despite Brazil’s complaint to FIFA after the no-show over the international break.

Marcus Rashford, Scott Mctominay, Alex Telles and Dean Henderson are all edging closer to full fitness, but all four are expected to sit this one out.

Predicted line up

(5-3-2): Woodman – Murphy, Fernandez, Lascelles, Schar, Ritchie – Hayden, Willock, Almiron – Saint-Maximin, Joelinton.

With this in mind, we’re going for two changes. Wilson and Sean Longstaff out, Joelinton and Hayden in.

Joelinton starting seems likely based on the fact he’s been the one Bruce has called on from the bench in each of our three league games so far.

As for Hayden, we need to be strong in midfield if we’re to have any chance in this one, so it may well be Longstaff that drops out given Willock and Almiron appear to be first choice options when fit.

Saying that, it may be harsh to leave Longstaff out given he did little wrong when coming on at Villa, also being one of our better players in the 2-2 draw with Southampton.

Our defence continued to look disorganised and all at sea in that game, but I’m not sure Bruce has any better options that Lascelles, Fernandez and Schar right now. The latter isn’t suited to playing on the left-side of a three, but he could keep his place if Dummett still isn’t ready to return.

Regular defensive lapses from Ritchie and Murphy could open the door for Lewis and Manquillo before too long. I’d be tempted to start the latter after he impressed against Burnley, but Murphy is one of our main ball-carriers on the break – even if he’s becoming an easy target at the other end.

In goal, Darlow is back in contention – which is great to see after his battle with Covid – but I can’t see him being thrown straight back in; especially when Woodman has done little wrong in his absence.

Match prediction

If I’m being brutally honest, I don’t think I’ve gone into a game feeling less optimistic for a long time – and that says a lot when we’ve rarely had reason to believe under Steve Bruce!

I think Saint-Maximin and Joelinton could show flashes up top and hope Almiron and Murphy’s pace can cause problems on the counter, but just don’t see us coping with the constant waves of attacks this Man Utd side are likely to throw at us.

A Ronaldo goal feels inevitable – whether he starts up top or comes on to a rousing reception from the bench – yet they have plenty others who are capable of doing damage in Fernandes, Pogba, Greenwood and Shaw.

Hoping to spoil the party. Fearing a real beating.

Prediction: Man Utd 4-1 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.

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

  1. The CR7 “TRUE RED” scarf is pretty funny given he pushed for a move to Madrid for 2 years before eventually leaving.


  2. Your team is probably correct Olly, although I think it is a t0ssup between Longstaff and Miggy. I just have a feeling that Bruce will punish Almiron for him (Bruce) playing him out of position.

    I think I worry about Woodman more than most. I feel he doesnt command his area. Not really his fault as he has been away for the last 3 years and probably is still getting used to Lascelles, Fernandes and Schar. Maybe he should take some lessons from the Mackem T-Rex and become a petulant child?


  3. As I said on the last thread I have a 1 per cent hope that this could be Leicester revisited where I feared for the worst and then we outplayed them. Wolves did and should have won about 3-1 or more. Wolves are not that great of a team either.


  4. Also, you Fat Git. Instead of complaining why dont you keep the existing players fit? Dummett. Wilson and Fraser for a start. And then see if you can do some actual coaching with Longstaff or Schar. Or develop a system that suits them.

    Donkey is a lost cause to me but Naglesman played him so maybe he has been Bruced.

    Play the players in their proper positions FFS. Miggy is a number 10. Murphy is a winger. Donkey is non-league.

    Hope you had a good time in Portugal. If we get slaughtered by Man U do not think that that will not come back to haunt you. You lazy, fat git.


  5. Put how I feel about Ashley & Bruce aside & what I think they deserve – as an NUFC fan I fear for today like.

    Old Trafford, Ronaldo home coming coupled with a poor performing NUFC without some of our strongest players = cricket score today I reckon


  6. I am awake at 6am and will watch the first game. Meantime, I am watching something I should not be watching.

    A replay of the Southampton game !!!

    We were pretty shyte for most of that.


  7. Woodman at fault, typical our luck, don’t deserve to be losing. If Wilson was playing I reckon we’d be 1 or 2 up.


  8. Longstaff has had a good game so far. I know I have criticized him but I would really like him to do well.


  9. Eric+Sykes:
    Longstaff has had a good game so far. I know I have criticized him but I would really like him to do well.

    He is mate, hope our heads don’t drop second half, knowing how we never play that well for 90 +


  10. I dont know if Woodman is any good or not. I only ever watched him for the England U20s twice and he was terrible. But he was 20. I had hoped he would be much better by now. That was a big mistake though.


  11. We got caught in the headlights at the beginning of the first half but I think we defended pretty well – great goal Ronny.

    But we’ve started well the second half & are showing some real grit – ASM & Miggy really stepping up & wanting to spoil the party – good finish from Manq.

    We may go on to get beat, but I’m pleased with the performance so far to be fair.


  12. I had talked about Woodman being Shyte on here 4 years ago after the Toulon tournament. He is proving it today.

    This is on Woodman, not Bruce.


  13. THis has been a Woodman disaster. And you cannot give Man U a lead because then they will press you. He should never play for NUFC again.


  14. I had brought Woodman up on here earlier and much earlier, like 4 years ago, asking why he was rated so highly?


  15. I dont blame Woodman for the 3rd but he was miles away from it. It was like a Joe Hart “pretend” dive where he is going through the motions and never believes he will he there.

    Woodman should never play for NUFC again.


  16. Well you look at the players we were facing today, and their bench, and the score line isn’t surprising.

    But it wasn’t for the want of trying. No one can say the players aren’t playing for Bruce – they put up a decent fight of it today.

    But, that said, that’s still our worst start to a season since the 1930s I believe – even if I’m wrong on that, it certainly leaves us 2nd bottom.


  17. ALSO: it is easy to say after the fact that you thought a NUFC player was not what they were cracked up to be. I said 4 years ago ON HERE that Woodman was shyte.


  18. Eric+Sykes:
    FFS Woodman.

    Leave, just leave!!!

    Eric – Arsenal were ready to pay £10m in the summer.

    I think he would have left if Dub and/or Darlow had been fit.


  19. We played ok apart from Woodman unfortunately. First two goals were very preventable. But it was inevitable… that’s what happens when you a team worth billions compared to a team worth a bag of chips and a pair of Karrimore trainers. 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬


  20. I am sure most on here didnt notice but I said he was shyte at the England U20 tournament and then they demoted him to 3rd choice. I hate to write off you players but I watched 2 of those games and he was a bag of nerves.



  21. Sharpy17: Eric – Arsenal were ready to pay £10m in the summer.

    I think he would have left if Dub and/or Darlow had been fit.

    There’s 35 mil we will never see. Woodman and 25 mil for Longstaff that supposedly Man U were set to pay 🙂 Sean played OK in the 1st half today though and then disappeared.


  22. Eric+Sykes: There’s 35 mil we will never see. Woodman and 25 mil for Longstaff that supposedly Man U were set to pay 🙂 Sean played OK in the 1st half today though and then disappeared.

    Yes mate, both those ships have sailed now – I’d take £10m for both I reckon.

    Really bad timing on the keeper though coz I think Bruce would definitely have sold Woodman to raise some funds, but knew he couldn’t really with the 2 out.

    It can’t be an easy position for a young player as any mistake is generally costly – but I’m not making excuses – he got game time last season with Swansea and this is his big chance with Dub & Darlow out.

    The defence in front of him is poor, but Darlow stepped up last season – Woodman won’t get a chance like this again I reckon.


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