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Confirmed XI: Martial, James, Fernandes and Rashford start against Newcastle United; Diallo and Shoretire on the bench again

Manchester United welcome Newcastle United at Old Trafford in the Premier League this evening. Fresh from their 4-0 victory over Real Sociedad in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 first leg, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will now be seeking to improve their position in the league after they saw Manchester City go ten points clear at the top of the league on Wednesday evening. United will have a big job on their hands to try and overcome that deficit at this stage of the season, especially after they topped the league only a few weeks ago. However, a series of poor results against Sheffield United (L), Arsenal (D), Everton (D) and West Bromwich Albion (D) saw United surrender their lead at the top of the table.

After United’s victory over Real Sociedad on Thursday evening, former Manchester United midfielder and BT Sport pundit Owen Hargreaves spoke about a conversation he had with Solskjaer in which the United manager supposedly stated that he was not happy with second place in the league as United should be winning trophies. This suggests that what Solskjaer says to the media and what he says to friends and former colleagues is very much different. If you think about it, if Solskjaer stated that he wanted United to win trophies to the media, they would create a seemingly negative storm to berate him endlessly as they know that so-called supporters of the club that want him sacked will create more additions to the story – negativity against United sells.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;

Matic, Fred;

James, Fernandes, Rashford;

Martial

Substitutes:

Henderson; Bailly, Telles, Williams, Tuanzebe; Mata, Diallo, Shoretire; Greenwood

Newcastle United:

Darlow;

Krafth, Lascelles, Clark, Lewis;

Willock, Hayden, Shelvey;

Joelinton, Almiron, Saint-Maximin

Substitutes:

Dubravka; Dummett; Ritchie, Hendrick, Fraser, Murphy, Longstaff; Carroll, Gayle

United and the Magpies have met 51 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won 30 times, drawing 14 times with the Magpies winning seven times. United have scored 105 goals against the Magpies, conceding 52 goals. United were awarded two penalties, scoring one with the Magpies awarded three and scoring all of them. United have kept 19 clean sheets with the Magpies keeping 11. In terms of discipline, United have been shown 85 yellow cards and three red cards with the Magpies being shown 83 yellow cards and three red cards. After the 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion last weekend, United will be seeking to get back to winning ways and to try and bring down the ten-point deficit between them and Manchester City.

Earlier this season, United beat the Magpies 4-1 at St James’ Park in Newcastle. Luke Shaw scored an own goal in the second minute of the match which resulted inn United having to come back from behind. Harry Maguire found the equaliser in the 23rd minute, assisted by Juan Mata. Bruno Fernandes put United ahead in the 86th minute with Aaron Wan-Bissaka doubling United’s lead in the 90th minute – both goals assisted by Marcus Rashford. Rashford then scored six minutes into added time to seal the victory, assisted by Fernandes. At Old Trafford last season, it was another 4-1 victory for United with goals scored by Matty Longstaff in the 17th minute, then Anthony Martial scored a brace with Mason Greenwood and Rashford also scoring.

Written by John Walker

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