Preview: Rangnick’s United need to find their Christmas spirit to help Newcastle back to the Championship

Newcastle United -v- Manchester United

Premier League

St James’ Park, Newcastle

Monday 27 December 2021, KO 20:00 GMT

Referee: Craig Pawson Assistants: Ian Hussin, Darren Cann

Fourth Official: Anthony Taylor

VAR: Peter Bankes Assistant VAR: Timothy Wood

Manchester United return to action on Monday evening as they travel to face Newcastle United at St James’ Park in the Premier League. It will be 16 days since their last match, a 1-0 victory over Norwich City following the postponements of the matches against Brentford and Brighton and Hove Albion. United have a good chance to break into the top four with these matches in hand, as long as they are played at a time where United will have the time to play matches, not at a time where they could be in Emirates FA Cup or even UEFA Champions League action, which will more than likely be the case.

United, at the time of writing, sit in sixth place in the Premier League, five points adrift of fourth-placed Arsenal, 11 behind third-placed Chelsea, 14 behind second-placed Liverpool and 17 behind top of the league Manchester City. United will have a long and tough task of righting the wrongs that came at the end of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s time at the club. Newcastle sit 19th in the league and likely to find relegation to the Championship at the end of the season if this form continues. They have a -23 goal difference, three shy of Norwich’s goal difference, who are bottom of the league. Dire times for that wee club in the North East.

Manchester United – Recent Form, Goals Scored and Assists: WDWWDW

Norwich City 1-0 W, Young Boys 1-1 D, Crystal Palace 1-0 W, Arsenal 3-2 W, Chelsea 1-1 D, Villarreal 2-0 W

Goals: 13 – Cristiano Ronaldo, 5 – Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood, 3 – Marcus Rashford, 2 – Fred, Jesse Lingard, Jadon Sancho, 1 – Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial, Alex Telles, Donny van de Beek

Assists: 9 – Bruno Fernandes, 7 – Paul Pogba, 3 – Luke Shaw, 2 – Mason Greenwood, Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic, Cristiano Ronaldo 1 – Fred, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford, Raphael Varane

Newcastle United – Recent Form, Goals Scored and Assists: LLLWDL

Manchester City 4-0 L, Liverpool 3-1 L, Leicester City 4-0 L, Burnley 1-0 W, Norwich City 1-1 D, Arsenal 2-0 L

Goals: 6 – Callum Wilson, 3 – Allan Saint-Maximin, 1 – Isaac Hayden, Jeff Hendrick, Joelinton, Jamaal Lascelles, Sean Longstaff, Javier Manquillo, Jacob Murphy, Jonjo Shelvey

Assists: 3 – Allan Saint-Maximin, 2 – Javier Manquillo, Matt Ritchie, 1 – Ciaran Clark, Ryan Fraser, Joelinton, Emil Krafth, Jacob Murphy, Fabian Schär

Previous meetings with Newcastle United and their connections with Manchester United.

United and Newcastle have played a total of 53 matches in the history of the Premier League. United have won 32 matches, drawing 14 with Newcastle winning the remaining seven matches. United have scored a total of 112 goals, winning three penalties and scoring two of them. Newcastle have scored 54 goals, winning tree penalties and scoring all of them. United have kept a total of 19 clean sheets with Newcastle keeping a total of 11 in these matches. United players have been shown a total of 87 yellow cards and three red cards with Newcastle players shown a total of 85 yellow cards and three red cards.

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, seeking to get Liverpool fans to love him again, was another.

Team News: Just one injury absentee for United with up to six players also returning from various problems. Newcastle have four players out; one suspended, three injured.

Paul Pogba (Thigh) is the only injured player at this time at United. It is expected that he could be fit by the 10 January 2022, if he ever plays for the club again. Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Knee) and Raphaël Varane (Thigh) are expected to be back in contention for Monday’s clash with Newcastle but currently have a 75% chance of featuring. Edinson Cavani (Tendon), Victor Lindelof (Chest/Abdominal) and Anthony Martial (Knee) all have 50% chances of featuring against the Magpies. Juan Mata (Illness) was an absentee, despite United’s two matches against Brentford and Brighton being postponed but he has been pictured back in training recently.

Isaac Hayden (Suspension) will miss the clash with United after amassing five yellow cards so far this season. Paul Dummett (Calf/Shin/Heel), Jamal Lewis (Thigh) and Federico Fernandez (Thigh) have all been ruled out due to injury. Javier Manquillo (Illness) has a 75% chance of featuring for his club at St James’ Park on Monday evening whilst Jonjo Shelvey (Muscular) has a 50% chance of featuring against United. This is not a good period for the ‘richest club in the Premier League’ with relegation to the Championship a likelihood this season, unless the performances and the results improve. The Magpies have lost their last three matches.

Predicted Starting XI: Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Jadon Sancho to start against

Ralf Rangnick will have a full team, minus Paul Pogba to select from for this match, 16 days after the club beat Norwich City. It seems that United will be starting afresh in this match and could be rusty ahead of their first match during this Festive period. United will be back in action just three days later as they welcome Burnley to the Theatre of Dreams with still one more match to go before the club reaches the half way point of the season, which if the Brentford and Brighton matches were not postponed, would have come against Newcastle. United were not at their best against Norwich and will need to find some improvement in this match and beyond.

David De Gea will be seeking to keep his position as the main goalkeeper in the team and he’s done everything that he needs to do to claim that at this time. In defence, Diogo Dalot and Alex Telles should keep their places at fullback with Raphaël Varane returning from injury parter Harry Maguire in the centre of the defence. Scott McTominay and Fred should start in the midfield with Jadon Sancho, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford starting in the three attacking positions behind the striker. Cristiano Ronaldo should keep his place as the main striker against Newcastle with Edison Cavani able to take a place on the bench, he might not be fit to start.

Match Prediction: United and Newcastle have met 53 times in the Premier League with United winning 32 times, drawing 14 times with the Magpies winning just seven times. United should win this match.

Earlier this season, United beat Newcastle 4-1 at Old Trafford. It was Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to United and he did well on that day, scoring a brace in this defeat for a club that has supposedly become the richest the Premier League. Bruno Fernandes and Jesse Lingard scored the other goals on that day. Last season, United beat the Magpies 3-1 at Old Trafford with Marcus Rashford, Daniel James and Fernandes scoring the goals. At St James’ Park, it was a 4-1 victory for United with Harry Maguire, Fernandes, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Rashford scoring the goals. United need to do the double over the club again this season.

Newcastle are one of the worst teams in the Premier League this season, earning their first win of the season at the start of December beating Burnley 1-0. Since that victory, they have lost to Leicester City, Liverpool and Manchester City, conceding 11 goals and scoring just once. With United in much better form following the departure of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Eddie Howe’s side will not be looking forward to another poor result, which is the likelihood here, despite the fact that United last played a match 16 days prior to this one, if it does in fact go ahead. It could well be curtains for Newcastle, which would be hilarious.

Newcastle United 0-3 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

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About editor 2136 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.