Preview: Martial to return against Magpies; Sabitzer & McTominay in midfield? Rashford to score?

Newcastle United -v- Manchester United

Premier League

St James’ Park, Newcastle

Sunday 2 April 2023, KO 16:30 GMT

Manchester United will travel to St James’ Park to face Newcastle United in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon. This will be the final match with the Magpies this season. Erik ten Hag’s side have drawn 0-0 with the Magpies in the Premier League at Old Trafford earlier this season, beating them 2-0 in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley at the end of February to lift the first domestic trophy of the season. United will be seeking to win this match to keep their place in the top four.

Newcastle sit in fifth place in the Premier League ahead of this fixture with Eddie Howe’s side just three points behind United – level on 26 matches being played to far this season. A win could see the Magpies rise above United because of their superior goal difference of +20 with United’s sitting at +6. Tottenham Hotspur sit in fourth ahead of matches being played this weekend – a point behind United having played two matches more at this stage of the season.

Spurs do not play until Monday evening, when they travel to Everton so if United are defeated or draw with the Magpies, Spurs could literally leapfrog United into third place in the Premier League. United’s games in hand over Spurs will mean they need to keep winning to stave off any problems. Beating the Magpies will give Spurs no chance of leapfrogging United as the gap will be four points meaning a Spurs win would end up with them still being a point behind United.

Manchester United – Form, Goals Scored & Assists

Fulham 3-1 W, Real Betis 1-0 W, Southampton 0-0 D, Real Betis 4-1 W, Liverpool 7-0 L, West Ham United 3-1 W

Goals: 27 – Marcus Rashford, 10 – Bruno Fernandes, 7 – Antony, 6 – Fred, Anthony Martial, 5 – Casemiro, Own Goal, Jadon Sancho, 4 – Alejandro Garnacho, 3 – Cristiano Ronaldo, 2 – Christian Eriksen, Scott McTominay, Wout Weghorst, 1 – Diogo Dalot, Lisandro Martinez, Marcel Sabitzer, Luke Shaw

Assists: 10 – Bruno Fernandes, 9 – Christian Eriksen, 7 – Marcus Rashford, Luke Shaw, 6 – Casemiro, 4 – Fred, Alejandro Garnacho, 3 – Wout Weghorst, 2 – Diogo Dalot, Anthony Elanga, Anthony Martial, Cristiano Ronaldo, 1 – Antony, Scott McTominay, Facundo Pellistri, Jadon Sancho, Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Newcastle United – Form, Goals Scored & Assists

Nottingham Forest 2-1 W, Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 W, Manchester City 2-0 L, Manchester United 2-0 L, Liverpool 2-0 L, Bournemouth 1-1 D

Goals: 11 – Miguel Almirón, 7 – Callum Wilson, 6 – Alexander Isak, 4 – Bruno Guimarães, Joelinton, 3 – Sean Longstaff, Chris Wood, 2 – Joe Willock, 1 – Dan Burn, Jamaal Lascelles, Jacob Murphy, Allan Saint-Maximin, Fabian Schär, Kieran Trippier

Assists: 7 – Kieran Trippier, 4 – Joe Willock, 3 – Miguel Almirón, Bruno Guimarães, Sean Longstaff, Allan Saint-Maximin, Callum Wilson, 2 – Joelinton, 1 – Alexander Isak, Jacob Murphy

Previous Meetings & Connections

United and Newcastle have met 55 times in the Premier League in the history of both clubs. United have won 32 times, drawing 16 times and losing just seven times. United have scored 113 goals, winning three penalties, scoring two of them. The Magpies have scored 55 goals, winning three penalties, scoring all of them. United have kept 20 clean sheets with the Magpies keeping just 12. United have not beaten the Magpies in the Premier League this season.

Discipline seems to be a problem between United and the Magpies. United players have been shown a total of 93 yellow cards and three red cards in matches against the Magpies. Newcastle players have been shown a total of 89 yellow cards and three red cards in matches against United. This match could be a fiery clash after United beat the Magpies in the Carabao Cup final last month with the Magpies seeking to stay in the top four of the Premier League this season.

Peter Beardsley, Keith Gillespie, Andy Cole, Ronny Johnsen, Nicky Butt, Guiseppe Rossi, Danny Simpson, Alan Smith, Louis Saha, Gabriel Obertan and Michael Owen have all played for both United and Newcastle. Cole is perhaps the most effective signing of the lot, although Owen and Smith both did well for United. Butt and Saha worked well for United though. Newcastle fans still seem happy that Alan Shearer chose them over United – he relegated them!

Team News

Donny van de Beek (knee), Alejandro Garnacho (ankle) and Tom Heaton (ankle) are the only players to be ruled out through injury against Newcastle. Casemiro is suspended for the next three Premier League fixtures. Christian Eriksen is on the road to recovery after his ankle injury but this match may come too soon for him. Marcel Sabitzer (knee) missed the second Austria match in the international break but seems likely to be ready to start for United this weekend.

Raphael Varane (knock) missed the victory over Fulham before the international break and looks set to be back in the squad for the visit to Newcastle on Sunday. Marcus Rashford (knock) missed England duty after receiving a knock against Fulham and should be fit this weekend whilst Anthony Martial (hip) has been recovering in the background for weeks now and could return this weekend. United could be close to being injury free, which has been a problem recently.

Miguel Almiron (thigh), Ryan Fraser (training with U21s) and Emil Krafth (knee) are the only players ruled out ahead of United’s visit. Joelinton was suspended for the last match due to getting 10 yellow cards this season and will be back for United. Anthony Gordon (ankle) is the only real doubt. Allan Saint-Maximin (thigh), Nick Pope (knock) and Sven Botman (food poisoning) will all be involved against United in the Premier League clash at St James’ Park on Sunday.

Predicted Manchester United Starting XI – 4-2-3-1

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez, Shaw;

McTominay, Sabitzer;

Antony, Fernandes, Rashford;


Predicted Newcastle United Starting XI – 4-3-3


Trippier, Schär, Botman, Burn;

Longstaff, Guimarães, Willock;

Murphy, Isak, Saint-Maximin

Match Prediction

United will need to be at the top of their game when the season resumes after the international break on Sunday. This is the first break in the season since the FIFA World Cup at the end of last year. United have been in good form this season but will need to start again from a two-week break in club football and find that form again. This is likely to be a hard-fought match between the two teams, especially after Newcastle lost the Carabao Cup final to United in February.

Ten Hag will have some players from the injury and doubt list back in action but there will be a few more absences but in terms of having players back for the final stretch of the season, it looks good with only Donny van de Beek set to be absent for the remainder of the season. Christian Eriksen’s return and Casemiro’s suspension coming to a close in the next three matches bodes well for United’s midfield, especially with Marcel Sabitzer at the club.

I think Scott McTominay and Sabitzer will be crucial for United against the Magpies and Fred will certainly play some part in the match whether from the start or him coming off the bench. Anthony Martial’s return has taken a while to come but should he hit the ground running, it could be great for United who have been looking all over the pitch for goals with attacking players not getting them – but they had come from elsewhere. This could be a good period for United.

Newcastle United 1-3 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

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About editor 2143 Articles
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.