Manchester United welcome Newcastle United to Old Trafford today looking to extend their lead at the top of the table.
City moved to within four points of United at the weekend after Swansea held the deposed champions to a 1-1 draw at the Liberty Stadium, so Sir Alex Ferguson will be hoping to get back to winning ways this afternoon.
Despite the disappointment on Sunday, United have won five of their last six games and have an excellent record at home this season – only dropping three points so far.
Newcastle on the other hand arrive at Old Trafford in poor form with Alan Pardew’s men sitting just five points above the relegation zone, so the Magpies will be hoping to kick-start their season with a morale-boosting win this afternoon.
Sir Alex Ferguson is expected to make changes to his side to keep his squad fresh during the busy festive period. Javier Hernandez may come in for Wayne Rooney, who was disappointing against Swansea at the weekend.
Danny Welbeck is also expected to come in along with Darren Fletcher, while Nemanja Vidic is likely to get a rest after starting against the Swans with Rio Ferdinand coming in to play alongside Jonny Evans at the back. Rafael has shrugged off a hamstring strain and should start at right back.
Alan Pardew has several injury problems heading into the game with Haten Ben Arfa, Steven Taylor, Yahan Cabaye and Ryan Taylor all missing. Cheik Tiote is also out after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season against QPR.
Former United attacker Gabriel Obertan is back in contention after returning from injury to make a substitute appearances on Saturday, but may have to make-do with a place on the bench again.
Newcastle are in desperate form away from home, not winning any of their previous nine games on their travels. Combine this with United’s impressive home form and we can only see a win for the Red Devils this afternoon. Man Utd 2-0 Newcastle.
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