Newcastle vs Man Utd: Injury News, Preferred Team & Predicted Score
After exerting their attention in their two other competitions, Manchester United returns their focus to the Barclays Premier League with a trip to St. James’ Park to take on Newcastle United. The Reds go into the match following contrasting performances that saw them advance to the UEFA Champions Semi finals with a deserved win over Chelsea, but then fell on hard luck as they exited the FA Cup to their bitter rival, Manchester City.
The Magpies are enjoying their first season back in the top flight of English football, and they will definitely prove to be a tough opposition for United tonight. If you’re a gambling man and bet on sports, you’d find it tough to chose a winner tonight. Newcastle are currently resting in 10th place, which seems to be position of most of the Reds’ opponents have been lately, but they are just six points about the relegation zone.
With win or a draw against the Reds, the Toon can leapfrog Aston Villa into ninth place, which should all but secure their status for next season with six matches to play. Newcastle has lost three of their last four, Everton (h), Stoke City (a) and Aston Villa (a), and has been outscored 7-1. However, their lone win in the last month and a half was a 4-1 hammering of Wolverhampton, who beat United 2-1, at St. James’ Park.
The Entertainers, as some die-hard fans call themselves, are a very formidable side at home this season, which half of the reason why they are in such a decent league position at the moment.
Newcastle have won five, drawn six, lost five at St. James’ Park this season, but it has been their ability to get goals that has most impressed. Second only to United’s league-leading 42 goals scored, the Magpies, a bit under the radar, have solemnly banged in 36 goals at home. Four of those goals came in one of the greatest-ever comebacks in Premier League history as Newcastle stormed back from a four goal deficit against United’s main title rival, Arsenal, to draw the match 4-4.
Kevin Nolan is the club’s leading goal scorer with 12 goals, but the man second on their list is no longer in the Northeast of England. Andy Carroll registered 11 goals before being somewhat forced out of St. James’ Park in a huge money deal, 35 million to be exact, that saw him move to United’s fiercest rival, Liverpool.
Defensively though, Newcastle have conceded 23 goals at home, 47 overall, which is ranked fifth and eighth from bottom, respectively. Being the top goal scoring club in the Premier League, United should be encouraged to get forward like they did in the first game of the season.
In August, United eased to a comfortable 3-0 victory over Newcastle at Old Trafford, so it was not a very welcome back party for the visitors. Two first half goals from Dimitar Berbatov and Darren Fletcher was followed up by a well-taken Ryan Giggs goal late on in the match as the Reds sealed the first three points available in the new season.
Since then, both teams have faced roller coaster season in their 31 games, but that means that it will set up another hot-blooded match between these rivals at St. James’ Park. However, the Reds will have a different look to their line-up from their potentially demoralizing result against City.
It would take a foolish betting man to think that Sir Alex Ferguson will not reinsert his newly-favored strike partnership of Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez. Berbatov put in a very disappointing display against City, so he will be hard pressed to get the start, even though he is Premier League’s top scorer.
After receiving a straight red card against the Blues, Paul Scholes, who expertly set up Giggs’ goal in the first game, misses the three-hour trip north to face Newcastle. Other than Scholes, Fletcher and Owen Hargreaves, Ferguson has a fully-fit squad to choose from to face Newcastle United, which should put even more pressure on the United players to perform.
Although morale might be a bit low after a loss to a rival, Sir Alex Ferguson will make sure that Manchester United has the confidence and ability to bounce straight back against Newcastle United to keep their Barclays Premier League title hopes alive and kicking.
Out: P. Scholes (suspension), D. Fletcher (virus), O. Hargreaves (shoulder), A. Lindegaard (knee); Questionable: Rafael (bruise)
E. van der Sar; Rafael, C. Smalling, N. Vidic, P. Evra; Nani, M. Carrick, R. Giggs, A. Valencia; W. Rooney, J. Hernandez
Newcastle United 1 Manchester United 2
Submitted by The United Religion
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