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

Merry Christmas everyone. We hope you had a brilliant day full of family, food and festivities.

Now, we turn our attentions to football and hope Eddie Howe and the lads can deliver that Christmas present we’ve all been waiting for….three points against Manchester United!

The Red Devils won’t have played for 16 days by the time this one kicks off, with their last game coming in a 1-0 win at Norwich back on December 11th.

Since then, we’ve faced Leicester, Liverpool and Man City. Fatigue over the festive period could therefore be an issue our opponents aren’t dealing with, however COVID cases galore, disrupted training and a recent lack of games may also work against them. Who knows.

Either way, after three tough games and heavy defeats, this one and the trip to Everton (30th December) feel like two tricky yet beatable teams before our run of must-win fixtures in January.

Man Utd may be well rested, but there’s no reason we can’t kickstart our season with a big win under the lights at St James’ Park!

Team news

Both Jamal Lewis (hamstring) and Federico Fernandez (thigh) will be missing once again, while the game also comes too soon for Paul Dummett; who has only just returned to training after calf injury that’s kept him out all season.

Isaac Hayden is suspended (five yellows), Manquillo and Krafth are expected to return after being unwell and Howe is ‘hopeful’ Jonjo Shelvey

As for the visitors, Edinson Cavani, Raphael Varane and Aaron Wan-Bissaka could return, but Paul Pogba remains sidelined.

Predicted line ups

(4-1-2-3): Dubravka – Manquillo, Schar, Lascelles, Ritchie – Shelvey – Willock Joelinton – Saint-Maximin, Wilson, Fraser.

(4-2-2-2): De Gea – Dalot, Varane, Maguire, Shaw – McTominay, Fred – Fernandez, Sancho – Rashford, Ronaldo.

With Manquillo expected to be OK, you’d expect him to replace Murphy; who isn’t suited to playing at right-back in a four-man defence.

Schar will surely return after a rest, seeming set to replace Ciaran Clark after yet another horror show from him last week. Ritchie at left-back is another worry, but with Lewis injured it’s hard to know who else could come in.

Hayden is banned, so Shelvey and Willock seem likely to start in the middle of the park, only time time they could be helped out by Joelinton; who looked like a man mountain when dropping back into midfield against Manchester City.

Out wide, Saint-Maximin should return after a rest, coming in for Almiron – who flattered to deceive too often last time out – while Ryan Fraser deserves to keep his place after promising displays in each of our last two outings.

He’s one yellow card away from a suspension, however Callum Wilson looks set to lead the line once again. He’s rarely played with ASM and Fraser either side of him, so I’m really hoping Howe goes with this attack.

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Match prediction

I believe we can beat Man Utd – they’re not that good and will give us chances – but we can’t afford to keep giving away absolute gifts at the back. Not when Cristiano Ronaldo is in town!

In each of our last three games, we’ve conceded so many cheap and avoidable goals. Whether it’s penalty giveaways, red cards, indecisive defending or criminal passes around our own box, we have developed an awful habit of shooting ourselves in the foot.

If we can wake up defensively, be competitive in midfield and build on the improvements we’ve seen under Howe in the attacking third, we can cause Man Utd real trouble here.

I think we’ll see a mixture of all the above in a high-scoring draw at St James’ Park.

Prediction: Newcastle 2-2 Man Utd

HOWAY THE LADS!

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.

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

  1. What a game!!! We were bloody brilliant tonight – except Dubravka who was bloody awful. But I’m on the positives.

    We totally deserved the win!!! The lads were fantastic – Joe didn’t disappoint & is definitely a midfield enforcer!!.

    Those injuries could hurt us though. Didn’t like the look of either of those at all!!.

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  2. I just knew we would rue that sitter miss from maxi. I’ll take the point but we could have and should have won that. A draw feels like a loss. Biggest issue is losing wilson and maxi to injury though.

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  3. That’s the way Man U played against Norwich as well and somehow they won there. How can they have spent so much money and still be shyte. I think they have 26 points and there is only one reason for that – De Gea. He will be their player of the season again like he was for Moyes and Van Gaal.

    I mentionened McFred before the game. They are awful. West Ham better find a safe house like they have in the American cop shows for Declan Rice. Get him hidden in there until the transfer window shuts.

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  4. I looked at some of the comments in The Guardian and the Man U fans are getting a bit fed up with McGuire. On current form he is a bigger bust than Joelinton and Kepa. Maybe even than Dembele and Coutinho at Barca.

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