Manchester United vs Newcastle United Preview: Magpies fighting against the odds at Old Trafford

Even with Rafael Benitez on the touchline, the Toon Army have been written off before their trip to the Theatre of Dreams

Manchester United vs Newcastle United Preview: Magpies fighting against the odds at Old Trafford
(Photo: GettyImages/ Serena Taylor)

Newcastle United make the daunting trip to Old Trafford this weekend, with expectations of earning very little against Manchester United.

While there may be a glimmer of hope from their supporters that Newcastle can nick something, pundits from up and the country have voted swiftly in favour of the Red Devils.

And past records would side with them, as a shock win for Rafael Benitez's side present just their third victory at the Theatre of Dreams in 45 years. Newcastle also have some tough injury news to contend with. 

But Jose Mourinho doesn’t seem to enjoy coming up against Newcastle as he has only won half of the ten games played, losing three and drawing two.

Team News

Newcastle will be without the key trio of captain Jamaal Lascelles, Christian Atsu and Mikel Merino.

Summer signing Jacob Murphy may have a chance to cement his place in the starting XI, with Atsu set to be out for a couple of weeks.

Paul Dummett, who has been out since the opening day defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, has returned to training this week but Saturday’s game will come too soon for the left-back.

Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are set to return to the Red Devils squad, but both are likely to take up a place on the bench this weekend.

Phil Jones joins the treatment table after suffering a calf injury whilst on international duty with England last week.

Newcastle-born midfielder Michael Carrick will also miss out alongside defender Marcus Rojo.

 

ReStuttering recent form for both

Benitez has helped sneak the Magpies into the top 10 with just one defeat in seven games (W4 D2 L1,) but two defeats in their last two outings have seen them drop to 11th.

Nevertheless, it has still been a magnificent start by Newcastle, where research shows their 14 points after 10 games stands them in good stead to beat the drop.

The Red Devils flew out the blocks but have now only won once in their last four games (W1 D1 L2).

Two consecutive defeats on the road at Huddersfield Town and Chelsea has allowed rivals Manchester City to take an eight-point lead at the top the Premier League.

Grim Magpies record at Old Trafford

Newcastle picked up a famous win 1-0 away victory in December 2013 to end 41 years without a win at Old Trafford.

Their only previous win before then was in 1972, with a 2-0 win in the old First Division.

Since then, Manchester United have hosted Newcastle on 35 occasions – winning a staggering 26 times and drawing nine.

Likely line-ups

Manchester Utd: David De Gea; Antonio Valencia, Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling, Ashley Young; Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic; Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Marouane Fellaini, Marcus Rashford; Romelu Lukaku

Newcastle: Rob Elliot; DeAndre Yedlin, Ciaran Clark, Florian Lejeune, Javier Manquillo; Matt Ritchie, Isaac Hayden, Jonjo Shelvey, Ayoze Perez, Murphy, Joselu