Confirmed XI: Cristiano Ronaldo starts for Manchester United; Mason Greenwood and Jadon Sancho on the flanks

Manchester United will be back in Premier League action when they welcome Newcastle United to Old Trafford in a traditional 3pm kick-off this afternoon. It was something that was lacking last season for United with few traditional Saturday afternoon matches because of a mixture of playing in the UEFA Europa League and matches being selected for television in the United Kingdom. This match has not been selected for TV in the UK, which is a shame as it will mark the return to the Theatre of Dreams of Cristiano Ronaldo, who re-signed for the Old Trafford club during the summer.

The first international break of the new season has just finished, which is always a daunting though so early into the new season with only three Premier League matches played before a break in the season, which then results in the return of the UEFA Champions League and the Carabao Cup in the coming weeks with United returning to the elite European competition on Tuesday evening, then starting their pursuit of the League Cup the following Wednesday. This is the crucial point of the season with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seeking to ensure he has enough players in rotation for the upcoming matches.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Shaw;

Matic, Pogba;

Greenwood, Fernandes, Sancho;



Heaton; Lindelof, Bailly, Dalot; Mata, Lingard, Fred, Van de Beek; Martial

Newcastle United:


Hayden, Clark, Lascelles, Manquillo;

Willock, S. Longstaff, Almiron, Ritchie;

Saint-Maximin, Joelinton


Darlow, Schar, Lewis, Hendrick, Krafth, Fernandez, Murphy, Gayle, White

United and Newcastle have met a total of 52 times in the Premier League. United have won a total of 31 matches, drawing 14 with the Magpies winning seven times. United have scored 108 goals, winning three penalties and scoring two of them. The Magpies have scored 53 goals, winning three penalties and scoring all of them. United have kept 19 clean sheets with the Magpies keeping 11. A total of 171 yellow cards have bene shown in matches between United and Newcastle with the Red Devils shown 86 and the Magpies shown 85. There have been six red cards – three for each team.

Last season, United beat Newcastle 3-1 at Old Trafford and 4-1 at St Jame’s Park. In recent history, there have been 11 players to play for both United and Newcastle – Peter Beardsley, Keith Gillespie, Andy Cole, Ronny Johnsen, Nicky Butt, Guiseppe Rossi, Danny Simpson, Alan Smith, Louis Saha, Gabriel Obertan and Michael Owen. Of these players, Andy Cole is perhaps the best performing player and most effective signing – the only one coming from Newcastle for a fee (£6 million and Gillespie back in 1995. Michael Owen, who has since turned him back on United, despite winning his only ever Premier League title at the club, was another.

Written by John Walker

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I support Manchester United, the greatest English football team to have ever existed. Bruno Fernandes is the latest in a long line of players with great ability to play for the club. I idolised Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Eric Cantona growing up.