Man Utd (A): Pre-match thoughts, team news, possible line-up and prediction

This feels big. With two games to play, our hopes of a top six finish sit squarely in our own hands as we travel to what once was known as the ‘Theatre of Dreams’, now more noted for its leaky roof and leakier defence.

Wins against Manchester United and Brentford will secure back to back seasons in Europe, something rarely seen on Tyneside this century. However, a draw against Brighton in our last home game of the season means we are now level on points with Chelsea; one of the league’s in-form sides after three wins on the spin.

We know that sixth will secure us some form of European football regardless of the result of the FA Cup final. Magpies’ boss Eddie Howe was punchy about our league standing saying: “We find ourselves in this position, and it is where we deserve to be. Our motivation is to qualify for Europe.”

Old Trafford played host to our brilliant 3-0 win against Man U in the League Cup earlier this season with goals from Miggy Almiron, Lewis Hall and Joe Willock sealing a memorable win in the North West.

Although Howe was quick to say that he was not dwelling too much on past success against the Red Devils.

“That game has no relevance to this one,” he said. “It is a new challenge and I back the players. The players will embrace the pressure and be ready for the game.

“It is a massive fixture, we are coming to the end of the season, we are desperate to do well in the game, we will do everything we can to try and win.

“We don’t underestimate Manchester United; we know how tough it will be. We are under no illusions of the magnitude of this game. It is a time to enjoy the situation we are in.”

Team news

Howe said that both Alex Isak and Callum Wilson did not train at the start of the week because of illness, while also saying that it would be “foolish” to start Joelinton if he wasn’t at his physical best. It remains to be seen if the Brazilian will start, with he and recently injured trio Kieran Trippier, Miguel Almiron and Nick Pope all fit and available once again.

Fabian Schar is also one to watch, with Howe hinting in Tuesday’s press conference that he’s making very good progress from a hamstring injury that was meant to keep him out for the season.

Erik ten Hag will be able to call on Argentinian defender Lisandro Martinez, who has only made 11 appearances this season due to injury. Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Willy Kambwala all face a late fitness test before the game.

Predicted line-up: Dubravka – Trippier, Schar, Burn, Hall – Bruno, Longstaff, Joelinton – Almiron, Isak, Gordon.

This is a huge match and Howe will be able to pick his strongest team in a long time. I have a feeling we may not see Nick Pope until the post-season friendly match, although I may be very incorrect on that one, but Howe’s pre-match comments on Schar give me reason to believe he could return.

Trippier’s cameo against Brighton proves he has fitness back and I would back him to start and lead the team out as captain. I think Anderson would be unlucky to lose his spot in the team, but Joelinton offers more physicality in the middle of the pitch and this game will require that.

I hope Howe was bluffing about Isak and Wilson, although I am hoping both come through training today and can feature.

Prediction: Man Utd 1 – 1 Newcastle

There is so much riding on this game and I expect it to be a nervy affair. Ten Hag is fighting for his future and both teams are fighting for Europe, with Newcastle knowing a draw would secure our first Premier League finish above Man Utd and guarantee at least a Conference League Spot should Man City lift the FA Cup.

But – and this is a massive but – if Man U play as badly as they have proven they can play this season, we can and must kill off this game as quickly and as brutally as we are capable of.

Howay the lads!

About Joshua Nichol

Joshua is a freelance journalist currently training at Sunderland Uni, but is a lifelong Newcastle fan and enjoyer of retro football kits.

30 thoughts on “Man Utd (A): Pre-match thoughts, team news, possible line-up and prediction

  1. I don’t want to see Miggy in our team again personally.

    Murphy has done nothing wrong imo, but if he wants to change things up, get Barnes in & give him a chance to show what he’s got.

    I hope we approach it as an all or nothing game – blood & thunder.

    If we do, I only see us beating them comfortably. If we back off & let them gain confidence, I see us getting beat.

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  2. Cannot disagree with that sentiment Sharpy. I really hope we treat this like it is. A final to get to Europe. I hope we thrash them but I’ll take a 1-0 although my heart may not last for a 1-0. 😬😂😂

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  3. Really want to see our high energy, high press tonight.

    Give Onana, Evans & Cas no time on the ball – play that way & we beat them imo. Play that way & we control the midfield & stop the ball getting to their forwards – but if we sit back and allow them time & possession then we get beat I think.

    Win tonight & 6th is as good as ours.

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  4. Let’s hope the lads have their armbands and trunks. It’s raining at OT. 😬😂😂😂

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  5. That was **** , why are we giving this lot so much space and time on the ball. Fuming over that. Should never of happened.

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  6. Shocking first half. Schoolboy defending. Shocking refereeing. 😡😡😡😡😡

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  7. Pathetic!!

    So poor in the final third.

    Shocking defending by Trippier for their goal – Cas got hammered for not getting out quick enough last week – Trips done exactly the same tonight – awful!!.

    A vote on VAR – please please please get rid!!!!! How was that not even looked at???? Absolute disgrace – and all 3 Man Utd pundits say it’s a penalty.

    The game is there for the winning as bad as we’ve been. Get a goal and they **** themselves imo – but we’ve got to give Isak something to have a go at.

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  8. Fucking hell man!!! Did Howe make no notes from the 1st half???

    That’s corner was tried twice & he came close – 3rd time & he scores with nobody anywhere near him!!

    This is so annoying to watch.

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  9. Turned it off – they’re a fucking disgrace!!!.

    Pathetic in the final third & don’t deserve to finish above a really **** Man Utd or Chelsea this season.

    Howe takes off Trippier & Murphy on the right & puts Miggy on with Krafth – 2 players who can cross from the right (how we got our goal) to 2 players who can’t – genius!!.

    Awful – truly awful.

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  10. 3 on 1 and Isak manages to allow Amrabat to make the block.

    Longstaff one on one with the keeper & hits it straight at him.

    We had our chances – but I’m sure some will blame the penalty not being given.

    People will see Trippier with rose tinted glasses – but he’s cost us so many points this season.

    Awful performance.

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  11. I desperately want to back Howe – but he needs calling into question as well imo.

    We had 2 warns for the Amad goal & he still didn’t get one of our players out closer to him.

    That’s just tonight – there’s been plenty of other questionables this season that he’ll get away with because of the injuries.

    He gets to go again next season for me, but shouldn’t be sitting comfortably.

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  12. Gilly – I disagree mate. I think he disciplined both teams fairly.

    With regards the penalty, I don’t think it was easy to see real time – VAR were at fault there imo. They should have instructed the ref there was contact & he should take a look at the monitor. That they didn’t is no surprise really – but it’s a prime example of why Wolves want to vote to get rid next season.

    I really hope it’s got rid of because they have managed to make such a mess of what seems to be a really simple thing – EVERY OTHER SPORT has managed to implement it without issue.

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  13. End of term report; NEED TO DO BETTER.
    A little part of me will be thankful we ‘re not in Europe next season. Time to revamp the squad
    and hopefully create some composure in front of goal. We really should be seeing off teams as bad as Manure were tonight
    Still think we are on track and lessons being learnt. ‘Onward and upward’

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