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Ratings: Rashford, James and Fernandes score in 3-1 victory over the Magpies; Shaw, James, Matic all played well; debut for Shoretire

Manchester United beat Newcastle United 3-1 in the Premier League at Old Trafford. Marcus Rashford put Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side 1-0 up in the 30th minute of the match but the lead was short-lived as Allan Saint-Maximin found the equaliser for the Magpies just six minutes later. In the second half, United found themselves needing to do more to get back in front and that came in the 57th minute after Bruno Fernandes fed the ball to Daniel James, who scored his second goal of the week and his fifth goal of the season. Fernandes sealed the victory for United in the 75th minute after Rashford was fouled in the box, scoring the penalty to secure all three points with a 3-1 victory. Real Sociedad up next for United to confirm a last 16 place in the Europa League.

United started on the front foot with Daniel James trying to use his pace to break forward and create something for his club. Marcus Rashford also tried to use his pace and ability to get an early goal, but it was not happening for the home side. In the 30th minute of the match, United took the lead through Rashford. Harry Maguire played the pass into Rashford, who nutmegged Emil Krafth to get away on the left, chopping back inside on the right-back, reversing his show low and with vigour into the near post beating Karl Darlow. It was a short-lived lead for United with the Magpies equalising six minutes later through Allan Saint-Maximin after Maguire partially made the clearance with the Frenchman beating David De Gea.

United tried to get a second goal, but it was not coming. At the end of the first half, United had 73% possession, had five shots on goal, just two of those on target – needing more urgency from the second half to get the victory, otherwise it will be three draws in a row in the league, which will be another gift to Manchester City, who have taken control of the Premier League table at this stage of the season. Solskjaer may need to think about making some changes with the pace of Amad Diallo and Shola Shoretire plus that of Mason Greenwood. Anthony Martial has failed to do much, which seems to be the story of his season. There were not changes for either side during the half time break with United needing to turn things up a gear or two.

The Magpies tried to get themselves an early second-half goal by pressuring United, forcing a good save from De Gea just before the 50th minute. United need to think about pressuring the visitors with Martial still not offering much up top, which is a worry. Solskjaer should start thinking about making a change, taking the Frenchman off in favour of a player that has some ability right now. United took back their first half lead in the 57th minute of the match with Daniel James scoring his fifth goal of the season. Nemanja Matic cut inside Joe Willock, playing the pass to Bruno Fernandes who poked the ball to the Welshman who confidently found the back of the net at the far post. United deserved to be in the lead again. Now they need to keep it.

The Magpies tried to press United to find the equaliser for the second time in the match by De Gea made a good save to deny the visitors. Solskjaer made his first substitution in the 70th minute of the match with Mason Greenwood replacing Martial, who gave very little in the 70 minutes he has played – he should be pressed to find some form as it has been weeks since he last looked lethal in the box and that was against Southampton, in which the match was already won before he scored a brace. United won a penalty in the 74th minute of the match after Rashford was fouled by Willock in the box. The referee gave it immediately. Fernandes took the penalty, scoring his 22nd goal of the season for United, putting his club 3-1 up in the game and a certain victory.

Solskjaer made a double substitution on the 88th minute of the match with United still 3-1 up. Juan Mata replaced James and Shola Shoretire made his debut at the age of 17 after he replaced Rashford. United had the result they needed, and had to work for it. It was an important three points to get after the defeat to Sheffield United at the start of the month and the 3-3 draw against Everton and the 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion, which saw Manchester City create a void between them and United at the top of the table. United now look ahead to their UEFA Europa League round of 32 second leg match at Old Trafford on Thursday when Real Sociedad come to town, they they will focus on the clash with Chelsea next Sunday.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Made a save to keep Newcastle out in the first half, conceding in the 36th minute with Saint-Maximin beating him. He made a few good saves inn the second half to keep United in the lead at 2-1 up. Will be annoyed it is not a clean sheet but three points is more important.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Played a good wide game for United, helping keep United's attack high up the pitch with some seemingly thinking that United still play 'park the bus' football. I'd like to be more threat from his crosses though.

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2 Victor Lindelof

United were only really tested once and that was when the Magpies scored. Other than that, the pressure was mopped up most of the time, not as quickly as it could have been though. Good to see him have a better match in a game that lacked inspiration from the visitors.

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5 Harry Maguire

Got caught out by the Newcastle attack a few times in the first half. Provided the assist for Rashford's 30th minute goal but then failed to deal with the clearance which saw Saint-Maximin equalise six minutes later. Will be happy with the win and the three points but clean sheets will be something he wants to help keep too.

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23 Luke Shaw

Put in a shift at left-back to keep United going forward. The Magpies has a few chances and got a goal but other than that, they were not really a goal threat in their 15th defeat of the season. Shaw was named the Man of the Match on BT Sport.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Lack of pace made it difficult for United to get forward quickly, but with injuries to Pogba and both McTominay and Van de Beek missing, he had to play. His experience is good, as well as his defensive ability. United needed to break forward with speed though. Was one of the standout players in this match, with Newcastle trying to break forward. His lack of pace is a worry though, but he will seldom play against the faster-paced sides.

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17 Fred

Did what he needed to do in midfield. United got the result, despite conceding after they had scored the opener. Fred is a player that gives his all a lot of the time and a player that has earned his stripes in this squad.

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21 Daniel James

Tried to use his pace to get United on the front foot, which was working at a stage. In the second half he misplaced a pass but saw United lose possession, he then ran and got the ball back to keep the attack alive. That was good to see. Scored his fifth goal of the season to restore United's lead with a good finish from a Fernandes assist. He was replaced by Mata in the 88th minute of the match.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

Booked in the first half of the match. He was being kept out of the game by Newcastle for much of the first half. Got an assist for James' goal which restored United's lead and he scored a penalty in the 75th minute to give United a two-goal cushion.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Scored his 18th goal of the season in the 30th minute, beating Darlow at his near post to put United ahead. He was replaced by Shoretire in the 88th minute of the match.

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9 Anthony Martial

Offered little in the first half of the match. He's a frustrating figure to watch again. If it was not for injury, he would have been on the bench again. Again, not a lot was offered in the 25 minutes he played in the second half before being replaced by Greenwood in the 70th minute.

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Substitutes

11 Mason Greenwood

Replaced Martial 70'. Did more in twenty minutes than Martial did in 70. He should have led the line today in the absence of Cavani. Martial needs to find himself again, which seems to be taking time.

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8 Juan Mata

Replaced James 88'. Came on late in the game and had little impact. He will be pleased with the win though.

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74 Shola Shoretire

Replaced Rashford 88'. Made his debut at the age of 17. United had the result they needed when he came on so there was little to lose. He did well, despite not getting much impact. He will be working hard to play more minutes in the future.

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Goals: Marcus Rashford 30′, Daniel James 57′, Bruno Fernandes 75′ penalty; Allan Saint-Maximin 36′

Assists: Harry Maguire 30′, Bruno Fernandes 57’

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Matic, Fred; James (Mata 88′), Fernandes, Rashford (Shoretire 88′); Martial (Greenwood 70′)

Substitutes Not Used: Henderson; Bailly, Telles, Williams, Tuanzebe; Diallo

Bookings: Bruno Fernandes 38′; Isaac Hayden 38′, Joelinton 39′

Written by John Walker

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

Predicted XI: [4-2-3-1] Cavani, Rashford, Fernandes and Greenwood to start; Diallo to come off the bench at some point to show his class?

Manchester United welcome Newcastle United at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Sunday 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.

How United have faired against Newcastle United in the Premier League.

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.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Newcastle United in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Sunday evening…

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

David De Gea has eight clean sheets for United this season in the Premier League, six short of the Ederson (14) of Manchester City, which shows he is competing but could do with a bit more effort in his area. Recently, De Gea has been unpicked by Everton and West Bromwich Albion and he needs to find a way to become the player he was during Sir Alex Ferguson’s time and after that where he won the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award four times, three times consecutively. Dean Henderson kept his event clean sheet in 12 appearances in all competitions on Thursday evening and he is aiming to establish himself as the main goalkeeper at the club. De Gea needs to find good form and turn it into great form as sooner of later, he will lose his place.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw

United’s defence have been working well in recent weeks despite conceding three times against Everton and that goal against West Bromwich Albion last weekend. On Thursday, the back four of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire and Alex Telles kept a clean sheet with United winning 4-0. Against the Magpies, both Wan-Bissaka and Maguire should keep their places with Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw being restored to the starting XI. The fullback pairing of Wan-Bissaka and Shaw has worked well recently with both players performing well, both in attack and in defence. Maguire is unlikely to be benched, being the captain and showing his ability in different areas. Lindelof should be brought in to give Bailly a rest, keeping him ready for Thursday.

Midfield: Scott McTominay, Fred

Scott McTominay came off on the hour mark on Thursday with a problem and he will be subject to a late fitness test to see if he can feature against the Magpies. Donn van de Beek also missed the 4-0 victory over Real Sociedad through a muscular problem, which he might not recover from in time for Sunday’s match. If McTominay does not start, Nemanja Matic probably will, with Paul Pogba also being on the sidelines with a thigh injury. Fred has played well recently – he has the energy to keep running, can man-mark the opposition and help get the ball forwards. He does not score that many goals and should not be judged for that as that is not really his role. McTominay and Fred in the pivot is a good mix, providing they are both fit and ready to play.

Attacking Midfield: Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford

The majority of United’s goals this season have come from players who regularly play in these three positions. Bruno Fernandes scored his 21st goal for the club on Thursday evening, assisting a further 12 so far this season. Marcus Rashford scored his 17th goal against Real Sociedad, also assisting 11 more this season and Mason Greenwood, who did not find the back of the net this week, has scored four goals this season, with a further five assists. This works out to 42 goals and 28 goals – a total of 70 goal contributions from this trio. Daniel James scored against Real Sociedad, twice, but one was offside, so if Rashford needs a rest, he could possible start on the left ahead of him. This seems to be the best area to score and provide goals this season.

Forwards: Edinson Cavani

Edinson Cavani missed out on the Real Sociedad victory in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday evening through a muscular problem. At this moment in time, he has a 50% chance of featuring for United on Sunday. Solskjaer suggested that one or two of the players that are doubts could come through their problems and feature for United. Cavani should be ready to play, hopefully, as he is currently the best forward at the club, scoring seven goals and two assists for the club this season. Anthony Martial came off the bench on Thursday and did not really put himself into the game, despite United leading at the time. It is a worry that his form is so bad this season and he will need to correct that. Cavani should lead the line for United if he is able to start.

Substitutes: Dean Henderson; Eric Bailly, Alex Telles, Brandon Williams, Axel Tuanzebe; Amad Diallo, Daniel James, Nemanja Matic; Anthony Martial

Nine substitutes cane be named on the bench in the Premier League with three of those being used. Solskjaer used four of his five substitutions in the Europa League on Thursday so has a few fresh players to call on against the Magpies. Dean Henderson will probably be back on the bench for this game, starting again on Thursday in the Europa League. Eric Bailly, Alex Telles and Brandon Williams could be called upon if needed. In the midfield, Amad Diallo, Daniel James and Nemanja Matic should all be available, if Matic does not start based on the McTominay problem. In attack, Anthony Martial could be called upon, despite his dire form at this stage of the season. At the moment, I can only see him starting if an injury or fitness issue causes it.

Written by John Walker

Preview: Magpies to suffer another 4-1 defeat at the hands of United, in line with the last two meetings? That wee club in the North East!

Manchester United -v- Newcastle United

Premier League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Sunday 21 February 2021, KO 19:00 GMT

Referee: Paul Tierney Assistants: Lee Betts, Neil Davies

Fourth Official: Lee Mason

VAR: Stuart Attwell Assistant VAR: Adrian Holmes

Manchester United welcome Newcastle United at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Sunday 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: WDWDWD

Real Sociedad 4-0 W, West Bromwich Albion 1-1 D, West Ham United 1-0 W, Everton 3-3 D, Southampton 9-0 W, Arsenal 0-0 D

Newcastle United: LWLWLL

Chelsea 2-0 L, Southampton 3-2 W, Crystal Palace 2-1 L, Everton 2-0 W, Leeds United 2-1 L, Aston Villa 2-0 L

Top Scorers: 21 goals for Bruno Fernandes this season with Marcus Rashford scoring 17 sees United have the advantage for number of goals scored this season with Newcastle’s Callum Wilson scoring ten goals so far this season.

Manchester United Goals: 21 – Bruno Fernandes, 17 – Marcus Rashford, 7 – Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial, Scott McTominay, 4 – Mason Greenwood, Daniel James, Paul Pogba, 2 – Harry Maguire, Juan Mata, Own Goal, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, 1 – Victor Lindelof, Donny van de Beek

United have once again started to turn a corner now being undefeated in the last six matches, winning three and drawing three. It might not be the best of form the the club but there is a positive, especially after the 4-0 UEFA Europa League victory over Real Sociedad on Thursday evening in Turin. United have scored 18 goals, conceded four and kept four clean sheets, which is good stead considering the matches prior to the last six matches, which saw United play poorly and struggle to score goals, which did continue after the 9-0 thrashing of Southampton a few weeks back. Solskjaer will be seeking to continue the positive as United seek to make amends for their Champions League and Carabao Cup exits this season.

Newcastle United Goals: 10 – Callum Wilson, 5 – Miguel Almirón, 3 – Joelinton, 2 – Jeff Hendrick, Jacob Murphy, Jonjo Shelvey, 1 – Andy Carroll, Ciaran Clark, Ryan Fraser, Dwight Gayle, Isaac Hayden, Jamaal Lascelles, Allan Saint-Maximin, Joseph Willock

Newcastle United are not in the best of form recently, winning twice and losing four times in their last six matches. Bruce’s side have scored a total of seven goals, conceding ten and keeping just one clean sheet. Newcastle sit in 17th place in the Premier League at this stage of the season, six points ahead of 18th placed Fulham, which could easily see them drop into the relegation places if they continue to draw or lose matches. They need to win in the Premier League in order to pull away from the relegation places. In their last two matches against United, the Magpies have lost by the same 4-1 scorelines, scoring the first goals of each match but then losing that lead and losing their matches, which could happen against for that wee club in the North east.

Team News: Two players ruled out for United with three players needing a late fitness test to see if they can play against the Magpies whereas the visitors have three players ruled out and one player subject to a late fitness test.

Phil Jones (knee) and Paul Pogba (thigh) have both been ruled out for the visit of Newcastle United but Solskjaer has many other options at this time. Edinson Cavani and Donny van de Beek both missed the 4-0 victory over Real Sociedad on Thursday evening with muscular problems and Scott McTominay came off on the hour mark in the same match and all three players will be subject to late fitness tests with them currently having a 50% chance of featuring against the Magpies. Amad Diallo made his debut against Real Sociedad and Shola Shoretire was on the bench for United, so if need be. both could be available for Sunday night’s match, despite the fact that the U23’s face Everton in the Premier League 2 on Monday evening.

Fabian Schar (knee), Callum Wilson (thigh) and Javi Manquillo (ankle/foot) have been ruled out of the visit to the Theatre of Dreams, which could be costly for Steve Bruce’s side. Federico Fernandez (thigh) is also out of action at this moment in time but he will be subject to a late fitness test and currently has a 50% chance of featuring against United. Jeff Hendrick will be eligible to feature against United after his suspension, so there could be some kind of boost for Bruce’s team, who will be seeking to get a result against United with them sitting 17th in the Premier League, six points from the relegation positions, which could see them return to the Championship next season, providing Fulham, West Bromwich Albion and Sheffield United continue/start winning.

Predicted Starting XI: Edinson Cavani to lead the line if fit to start against the Magpies? Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood to support the attack? Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw back in the back four after being rested in the UEFA Europa League 4-0 victory over Real Sociedad?

Solskjaer has a few different options ahead of the clash with the Magpies. Phil Jones and Paul Pogba will miss the match through injury and Edinson Cavani, Donny van de Beek and Scott McTominay will all undergo a late fitness test in order to play a part in the match. It is possible that they could miss the match, however, I have predicted that both Cavani and McTominay could start and that Van de Beek will miss the match, which is a shame as he could have got some vital minutes under his belt in the absence of Pogba. I think Cavani will lead the line, supported by Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood. McTominay and Fred in the midfield pivot positions, which they have excelled in. Luke Shaw and Victor Lindelof should also return.

Match Prediction: 51 matches played in the Premier League between United and the Magpies. United have won 30 times, drawing 14 with the Magpies winning seven times.

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.

Manchester United 4-1 Newcastle United

Written by John Walker

Manchester United Idols: Andy Cole – a true bargain of the Premier League era; 275 appearances, 121 goals, 44 assists

On Tuesday 10 January 1995, Manchester United signed Andy Cole from Newcastle United in a deal worth £7 million which included Keith Gillespie, worth £1 million heading in the other direction. For £6 million cash, Cole was going to be an absolute belter for United. He made his debut 12 days after signing for the club in a 1-0 victory at Old Trafford over Blackburn Rovers – the eventual winners of the Premier League that season by one point – with Eric Cantona scoring an 80th minute winner. Cole’s first goal for United came in a 1-0 victory over Aston Vila at Old Trafford on the 4 February 1996, scoring the only goal of the match in the 17th minute.

In his first season for United, despite coming half way through the season, Cole made 18 appearances, not playing in any other competition that season as he was cup-tied in the FA Cup, United were already out of the League Cup and the UEFA Champions League – finishing third in their group. In those few appearances, Cole managed to score 12 goals, scoring single goals against Aston Villa, Manchester City, and Southampton, braces against Leicester City and Coventry City, also scoring five against Ipswich Town in a 9-0 hammering of the club that season which also saw a brace from Mark Hughes and goals from Roy Keane and Paul Ince too.

Cole played for United in eight different seasons, coming half way through the first and leaving halfway through the last, completing six seasons at the club. In his second season (1995/96), United were tasked to win the Premier League once again after Blackburn won the title the previous season, stopping United from winning the league three seasons in a row. United achieved that with Cole making 43 appearances and scoring 13 goals, 11 of those were in the Premier League alone which saw United finish four points clear of Newcastle United also finishing the season with the FA Cup after beating Liverpool 1-0 with Cantona scoring the only goal of the match.

In the summer of 1996, Cole saw both Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer arrive at the Old Trafford club. During the 1996/97 season, Cole made just 28 appearances, scoring seven goals in all competitions, which was not his best season at the club by a long shot but it was a season that United retained the Premier League title, also winning the FA Charity Shield at the start of the season, but falling short in the FA Cup, the League Cup and the Champions League once more. United were seeking to sign Alan Shearer from Blackburn that summer, ending up spending 10% of his fee on Solskjaer, which turned out quite well for United – that is another story.

The 1997/98 season was Cole’s best season at the club where he made a total of 45 appearances, scoring 25 goals – the most he had ever scored in one season for the club. It was the first of three good seasons for the player and the club where he would score a total of 71 goals in 140 appearances for the club. United ended the season second in the Premier League, losing to Arsenal by a single point, similar to that season against Blackburn. United won the FA Community Shield, got to the fifth round of the FA Cup, the third round of the League Cup also reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League – but little did anyone know what was coming.

The 1998/99 season is the pinnacle season for United as they won the treble, a feat that has never been achieved by another English club, at least not a proper treble. Cole made 50 appearances for his club that season, scoring 24 goals in all competitions. Cole scored some important goals that season, helping United qualify for the Champions League, scoring against LKS Lodz in the qualification round, scoring twice against Brondby in the group stages and once against Barcelona with new strike partner, Dwight Yorke – who arrived that summer for £12.6 million from Aston Villa, bagging a brace. Cole also scored against Juventus in the semi-final second leg.

United won the Premier League on the final day of the 1998/99 season, beating Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 with Les Ferdinand opening the scoring (24′), David Beckham equalising (42′) and Cole scoring a 47th winner for United, seeing his side lift the title at Old Trafford. United then won the FA Cup six days later beating Newcastle United 2-0 at Wembley with Teddy Sheringham and Paul Scholes scoring the goals. Four days later would be the biggest match of the season and some of these player’s careers just four days later. United versus Bayern Munich in the Champions League final at the Nou Camp in Barcelona.

Cole started that match in Barcelona but a sixth minute after Mario Basler scoring a free-kick, beating Peter Schmeichel. Bayern were unlucky not to score more goals in the match, hitting the woodwork more than once throughout the match. Sheringham replaced Jesper Blomqvist in the 67th minute to support United’s attack with Cole being replaced by Solskjaer in the 81st minute, which would change the match for United. In the first minute of added time, United won a corner, taken by Beckham with Sheringham scoring. Two minutes later, another free-kick – Beckham into Sheringham and Solskjaer has won it.

United reached the promised land that season with one of the best teams that Sir Alex Ferguson had ever put together. Cole made another 45 appearances in the 1999/2000 season, scoring 22 goals for United. United won the Premier League again, the third round in the League Cup, did not participate in the FA Cup because of FIFA Club World Cup, which they finished in the group stages of, also winning the Intercontinental Cup. The 2000/01 season was Cole’s last full season at the club, making 31 appearances and scoring 13 goals for the club. United ended with the Premier League again, winning it three times in a row for the first time.

During the 2001/02 season, Cole made 15 appearances for United, scoring five goals. His last goal came in a 3-1 victory over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. his last appearance for United came in a 1-0 defeat to West Ham United on the 8 December 2001 in which Jermain Defoe scored the only goal of the game. United signed Ruud van Nistelrooy in the summer of 2001, delayed from the year before because of fitness concerns which turned into a ruptured ACL. His arrival limited Cole’s performances for United that season so he was sold to Blackburn Rovers for £8 million, with United making a profit based on the fee paid for him.

Cole won the League Cup with Blackburn only a few months after being sold to the club, which was his twelfth and final trophy of his career. He made 100 appearances, scoring 37 goals for Blackburn then leaving for Fulham (39 appearances, 13 goals), Manchester City (23 appearances, 10 goals), Portsmouth (22 appearances, four goals), Birmingham City on loan (five appearances, one goals), Sunderland (eight appearances, no goals), Burnley on loan (13 appearances, six goals) and finally ending his career at Nottingham Forest (11 appearances, no goals). Cole made a total of 646 appearances during his career, scoring 289 goals.

For United, Cole made 275 appearances, scoring 121 goals and 44 assists and helped the club win five Premier League titles, two FA Cups, one FA Charity Shield and one UEFA Champions League. Since retiring, Cole has coached with Huddersfield Town, achieved his coaching badges working at United’s Carrington training ground and worked with Sol Campbell at Southend United. He has suffered ill-health with kidney failure in 2014 and had a transplant in 2017. He is also an ambassador for United, the club that he spent much of his glittering career at. He turned 49 on the Thursday 15 October 2020 and it was fitting to remember this Manchester United icon.

Written by John Walker

Player Ratings: Mata, Rashford and Fernandes perform in Magpies rout; Shaw own goal sees United score five in 4-1 victory

Manchester United beat Newcastle United 4-1 at St James’ Park in the Premier League on Saturday evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be pleased with the result which sees his side return to winning ways after their last match. Luke Shaw scored an own goal inside two minutes to give the Magpies the lead in the match but Harry Maguire equalised half way through the first half. Second half goals from Bruno Fernandes, a first club goal for Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Marcus Rashford put United in much better form as they now head into the UEFA Champions League where they will face Paris Saint-Germain in France on Tuesday evening.

After that 1-6 drumming at Old Trafford almost a fortnight ago, United were eager to get back on the pitch and right the wrongs of that defeat to Tottenham Hotspur. However, United did not start on the front foot, the Magpies started on the attack with Jonjo Shelvey playing the ball into United’s half, playing Emil Krafth in on the overlap then driving a cross which Luke Shaw stuck his leg out to cut out but it went straight into the back of the net beating David De Gea. The Magpies seemed more interested in getting ahead from the off, a but more than United but this was an unfortunate own goal for Shaw.

United then started to try and get themselves back into the match with Daniel James and Marcus Rashford working well together to get forward but nothing working out at that time. United had a chance minutes later which was cleared by the defender. United then looked a bit more into the match and seeking an equaliser. In the 19th minute, Bruno Fernandes equalised for United, playing a one-two with Juan Mata in the box but for the pass back, Mata was offside so VAR ruled the goal out. Four minutes later though, United got their equaliser with Mata swinging a corner into the box and the captain, Harry Maguire rising to level the match.

On the half hour mark, De Gea made a save to deny Allan Saint-Maximin at his near post with the Spanish goalkeeper getting across the goal to deny him from scoring, paring away the danger. He then collided with the post and seemingly injured his shoulder, requiring some treatment for him to continue. In the 37th minute, James was booked for a robust challenge on Saint-Maximin with Rashford lying on the turf after Isaac Hayden, only moment before, caught the United striker on the top of his foot, seemingly hurting him. VAR gave nothing for the challenge on Rashford. Six minutes later, Rashford had a chance on goal from 20-yards, forcing the save.

At the start of the second half, the Magpies lost Hayden through an injury, replacing him with Fabian Schar. The home side got the better of an attack with Callum Wilson drawing a low save from De Gea to deny them from taking the lead for the second time in the match. At the other end of the pitch, United got on the attack against through Mata with Rashford running into the box. It seemed like the United forward was taken down in the box with VAR looking into it. The penalty was given after the referee looked at the screen, giving the penalty after about 30 seconds, which is something that the Magpies will not enjoy. The penalty was saved by Karl Darlow.

United immediately tried to get something from the game, winning a corner with Mata and Maguire interacting to get something, but it was not coming for United. The penalty was a chance to get in front but Darlow stopped that from happening. United needed to go back to the drawing board to get something from this match, which is what they needed to be doing. United got a good attack up and running in the 66th minute forcing another save from Darlow after Mata put Rashford through on goal, but the offside flag was raised anyway. Solskjaer made his first substitution of the match in the 69th minute of the match with Paul Pogba replacing Fred.

Solskjaer made his second substitution in the 76th minute of the match with Donny van de Beek replacing James. Maguire had a goo shot on goal in the 80th minute of the match, missing the target which could have put United ahead in the match for the first time. The Magpies were also trying to get themselves ahead with Wilson and Ryan Fraser combining to put some pressure on United only for Scott McTominay to pass back to De Gea for hims to clear the ball from the area. United took the lead in the 86th minute of the match through Fernandes, who had a goal ruled out and saw a penalty saved. Rashford got the assist with a fine flick. Cracking goal.

That was not it for United though. Aaron Wan-Bissaka opened up his account for United. I said in his ratings that I would like to have seen more from him and here it came. On his 50th appearance for his club too. The right-back ran up the right flank, did not seem to want to head to the corner flag, cutting in towards the box and firing an 18-year shot past Darlow to give United a two-goal cushion. United still were not finished. Deep in added time, Rashford broke forward, the ball played by Fernandes to take advantage of an injured Darlow to put United 4-1 up in the match. United got a lot of stick for their defeat to Spurs but that is in the past now.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Could not have stopped Shaw's own goal. Looked to have injured his arm later in the first half after he collided with the post, was fine to continue though. Denied Wilson from close-range with a diving save. One for his confidence maybe?

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Got forward a lot of the time against the Magpies. I would like to see more of that from him with precise crosses into the box with United taking some advantage from his performances. Got himself his first goal for the club on his 50th appearance and what a goal it was.

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2 Victor Lindelof

I don't think United looked too poor defensively against the Magpies. Lindelof did not disgrace himself and the pressure seemed to be off despite the fact it had been on for much of the last fortnight after the Spurs defeat. I think he played well but United need to strengthen in this area.

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5 Harry Maguire

Pressure relieved a little bit? Headed home the equaliser for United in the 23rd minute from a corner. He will be relieved with that. He seems to have found some inspiration which has changed his luck for United, which is a good sign of the character of the player. Perhaps people will stop the criticism, clearly their lives are faultless 100% of the time? Had a good shot on goal in the 80th minute of the match, aiming to put United ahead, but he missed the target, which was a shame.

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23 Luke Shaw

Turned the ball into his own net in the second minute of the match with Newcastle on the attack. An unfortunate own goal.

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39 Scott McTominay

Played well in midfield for United. I would have liked to see him on the ball in an attacking sense a little more but I appreciate he had a job to do in a defensive manner, which seems to have worked for United considering the only conceded goal was Shaw's own goal error.

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17 Fred

Played a good game for United and saw plenty of the ball. United probably needed two defensive minded players on the pitch against the Magpies. He was replaced by Pogba in the 69th minute of the match.

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8 Juan Mata

His experience was key against the Magpies. Would have had an assist for Fernandes' goal, which was offside, got one minutes later after Maguire headed home. He was replaced by Matic two minutes into added time.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

Levelled the game in the 19th minute after a one-two with Mata, but the Spaniard was offside and the goal was ruled out, unfortunately. Missed from the penalty spot in the second half, which was rare for the Portuguese midfielder. Looked frustrated to miss the penalty and have a goal ruled out. However, he put United ahead in the 86th minute, assisted by Rashford with a fine goal. Got himself an assist for Rashford's goal too - a goal and an assist against the Magpies.

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21 Daniel James

His paced was used in the match and he seemed lively at times but like much of his time at United so far, he's just not doing as well as he could be doing. He started well last season but has played 30 league matches since his last league goal. He was replaced in the 76th minute by Van de Beek.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Got lively as the first half grew. Seemed to have a niggling injury after a challenge in the box but recovered and had a shot on goal minutes later, forcing a save from Darlow. Won a penalty before the hour mark of the match after VAR gave the indication that the referee had a look, which was given. It was saved though. Got himself an assist late in the game, seeing Fernandes and slipping the ball to him inside the box. Scored in added time to put United 4-1 up, getting himself assist for Fernandes' goal and Wan-Bissaka's first goal for the club.

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Substitutes

6 Paul Pogba

Replaced Fred 69'. Came on for the last 21 minutes plus added time. He had some involvement and would have liked to see him do more but his form has not been that great of late. He might be a shoe-in to start against PSG on Tuesday after being rested for much of the match today.

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34 Donny van de Beek

Replaced James 76'. Looked quite lively on and off the ball when he eventually came on against Newcastle. United managed to score three goals after his introduction, which was a good thing and very much needed. I would like to see him start in the Premier League, however, he seems to be working on his strength, which might be stopping him from starting at this moment in time. Perhaps he's not seen as strong enough right now. I feel he would be a breath of fresh air though. Early days yet.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Replaced Mata 90+2'. Came on for added time. Had little involvement bu United scored again after he came on. It shows that the Magpies were on the ropes and ready to give up, If they had not already.

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Goals: Luke Shaw 2′ o/g; Harry Maguire 23′, Bruno Fernandes 86′, Aaron Wan-Bissaka 90′, Marcus Rashford 90+6′

Assists: Juan Mata 23′, Marcus Rashford 86′, 90′, Bruno Fernandes 90+6′

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Fred (Pogba 69′); Mata (Matic 90+2′), Fernandes, James (Van de Beek 76′); Rashford

Substitutes Not Used: Henderson; Bailly, Telles; Ighalo

Bookings: Emil Krafth 67′; Daniel James 37′

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Rashford leads the line against Newcastle; Pogba on the bench – United looking for a win on the road

Manchester United are back in action in the Premier League this evening as they face Newcastle United at St James’ Park. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be looking to bounce back from that terrible 1-6 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford almost a fortnight ago which was the worst defeat under the Norwegian and United just seemed so out of pace on the pitch after the match started well with United winning a penalty in the opening two minutes of the match and taking the lead. It went downhill from there. Spurs could have scored so many more goals and United will be expected to take a stand against the Magpies.

Steve Bruce’s side has started the 2020/21 season in good stead losing just one match in their last six with was against Brighton and Hove Albion, a team which United beat twice in the space of fours days only a few weeks ago now. That said, the form that had been shown by United seems to have disappeared with the squad having to restart their season from this weekend, aiming to kick back from that defeat to Spurs. United were not the only team to be caught off guard that weekend as the reigning Premier League champions were beaten 7-2 by Aston Villa, a club that only just avoided relegation last season – yet not much has been said about that.

United made a few signings on transfer deadline day, bringing in Alex Telles, a left-back from FC Porto, free agent Edinson Cavani, who will miss this weekend’s match and could make his debut against Paris Saint-Germain next week in the UEFA Champions, Facundo Pellistri from Uruguayan side Penarol and also announced a deal to sign Amad Diallo (Traore) from Italian side Atalanta, who will sign for the club during the January transfer window. United may not have signed Jadon Sancho, but instead signing a leader (Cavani), a top class left-back and two 18-year-old right-wingers who have the raw talent to succeed at the club.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;

McTominay, Fred;

Mata, Fernandes, James;

Rashford

Substitutes:

Henderson; Bailly, Telles; Pogba, Matic, Van de Beek; Ighalo

Newcastle United:

Darlow;

Krafth, Lascelles, Fernandez, Lewis;

Hendrick, Shelvey, Hayden, Saint-Maximin;

Joelinton, Wilson

Substitutes:

Gillespie; Schar, Manquillo; Fraser, Murphy, Almiron; Carroll

United have met the Magpies 50 times in the Premier League with United winning 29 times, drawing 14 times and losing seven times. United have scored 101 goals in these matches compared to the Magpies’ 51 – a 50 goal difference between the two sides. United have won one penalty, scoring one with the Magpies winning three and scoring three. United have kept 19 clean sheets in the 50 matches compared to the Magpies’ 11 – which shows both teams are capable of shutting up shop, in the past at least. United have been shown 84 yellow cards to the Magpies 82 with both teams having three players sent off in the 50 matches played in the Premier League.

In this fixture last season, which was played in the 6 October 2019, the Magpies beat United 1-0 with Matty Longstaff scoring the only goal of the match. United played badly in the fixture at. time whereby form was not the best at the club, which is a similar situation this season, especially after that 1-6 defeat to Spurs in the last match which was almost two weeks ago. United found their feet against the Magpies last season, winning 4-1 at Old Trafford on Boxing Day with Longstaff opening the scoring again but Anthony Martial scoring a brace, with both Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford on the scoresheet in the victory.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: [4-2-3-1] Ighalo, Greenwood, Fernandes and Rashford to start in attack against the Magpies? Henderson in goal?

Manchester United are back in action in the Premier League on Saturday evening when they face Newcastle United at St James’ Park. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be looking to bounce back from that terrible 1-6 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford almost a fortnight ago which was the worst defeat under the Norwegian and United just seemed so out of pace on the pitch after the match started well with United winning a penalty in the opening two minutes of the match and taking the lead. It went downhill from there. Spurs could have scored so many more goals and United will be expected to take a stand against the Magpies.

Steve Bruce’s side has started the 2020/21 season in good stead losing just one match in their last six with was against Brighton and Hove Albion, a team which United beat twice in the space of fours days only a few weeks ago now. That said, the form that had been shown by United seems to have disappeared with the squad having to restart their season from this weekend, aiming to kick back from that defeat to Spurs. United were not the only team to be caught off guard that weekend as the reigning Premier League champions were beaten 7-2 by Aston Villa, a club that only just avoided relegation last season – yet not much has been said about that.

United made a few signings on transfer deadline day, bringing in Alex Telles, a left-back from FC Porto, free agent Edinson Cavani, who will miss this weekend’s match and could make his debut against Paris Saint-Germain next week in the UEFA Champions, Facundo Pellistri from Uruguayan side Penarol and also announced a deal to sign Amad Diallo (Traore) from Italian side Atalanta, who will sign for the club during the January transfer window. United may not have signed Jadon Sancho, but instead signing a leader (Cavani), a top class left-back and two 18-year-old right-wingers who have the raw talent to succeed at the club.

How United have faired against Newcastle United in the Premier League.

United have met the Magpies 50 times in the Premier League with United winning 29 times, drawing 14 times and losing seven times. United have scored 101 goals in these matches compared to the Magpies’ 51 – a 50 goal difference between the two sides. United have won one penalty, scoring one with the Magpies winning three and scoring three. United have kept 19 clean sheets in the 50 matches compared to the Magpies’ 11 – which shows both teams are capable of shutting up shop, in the past at least. United have been shown 84 yellow cards to the Magpies 82 with both teams having three players sent off in the 50 matches played in the Premier League.

In this fixture last season, which was played in the 6 October 2019, the Magpies beat United 1-0 with Matty Longstaff scoring the only goal of the match. United played badly in the fixture at. time whereby form was not the best at the club, which is a similar situation this season, especially after that 1-6 defeat to Spurs in the last match which was almost two weeks ago. United found their feet against the Magpies last season, winning 4-1 at Old Trafford on Boxing Day with Longstaff opening the scoring again but Anthony Martial scoring a brace, with both Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford on the scoresheet in the victory.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Newcastle United in the Premier League at St James’ Park on Saturday evening…

Goalkeeper: Dean Henderson

I’m not against David De Gea but recently, his form has been shocking and United need to find a way to bring out the best in him as it is not working for him right now. He was terrible against Spurs, but there was consistentcy throughout the team in that match as they were all terrible. During the international break, De Gea hardly gave much confidence in his performance against the Ukraine. Dean Henderson did not play for England during the international break and therefore he will be fully fresh to start for United. Solskjaer will need to find the best way for United to recover from their dip in form sooner rather than later.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelof, Alex Telles

The defence has many problems with the rest if the season ahead of the club. It is clear that the club should have backed the manager to strengthen the defence as you cannot expect to get the best out of the defenders at the club, some of whom have been prone to errors for more than a season. Harry Maguire clearly needs a break to overcome his problematic summer but unless Axel Tuanzebe is going to be fit and ready to go, it is likely that Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof will be the only players that have experience with Teden Mengi also available. In the fullback positions, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Alex Telles should start against the Magpies.

Midfield Two: Nemanja Matic, Donny van de Beek

Paul Pogba was in dire form against Spurs and it seems obvious that his heart is not in performing for the club. His comments about Real Madrid were not surprising and it is expected that he would rather leave the club than commit to it. For that reason, nothing else, Pogba should lose his place in the team with Donny van de Beek coming in for his first Premier League start. The player has been treated unfairly since he signed for the club and has the pedigree to offer more than Pogba right now. Alongside him, Nemanja Matic. He’s not plained any international matches so will have had almost a fortnight’s break and will be ready for Saturday’s match.

Midfield Three: Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford

Last season, United looked like an excellent attacking side with this trio playing behind the striker. However, this season, nothing seems to be working. The arrival of Facundo Pellistri and Edinson Cavani might change the attacking play with the former a raw talent and the latter an experienced player that could still offer something useful to the club. Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford impressed last season and so far this season, the latter has scored twice and will be seeking to offer more to his club. Greenwood has the talent and skill to thrive in this set up but United need to change their fortunes. Fernandes is the key player here.

Forward: Odion Ighalo

The Nigerian came off the bench against Crystal Palace in the first Premier League match fo the season but did not feature against Brighton and Hove Albion and Tottenham Hotspur in the league as he was not even named on the bench. With Anthony Martial suspended for the next three league matches, and the fact that Edinson Cavani cannot play against the Magpies, Ighalo could be considered to start in the Premier League but will need to get into the swing of things and find a way to deliver for the club. IN 22 appearances for the club, Ighalo has scored five goals and one assist, last scoring against Norwich City in the FA Cup last season.

Substitutes: David De Gea; Brandon Williams, Teden Mengi; Paul Pogba Juan Mata, Daniel James, Scott McTominay

United will need to have something on the bench should it be needed against the Magpies. This is not gong to be an easy match for United and the home side will be seeking to continue their good start to the season. David De Gea could find himself demoted to the bench so Solskjaer can aim to find a good mix of players to carry his team to victory. Defensively, Brandon Williams and Teden Mengi could be the only players available in this area. With Martial suspended and a lack of other attacking players able to feature this weekend, the only other players that could find themselves on the bench are Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Daniel James and Scott McTominay.

Written by John Walker

Preview: United to show what they are made of against the Magpies? A win is required – no excuses

Newcastle United -v- Manchester United

Premier League

St James’ Park, Newcastle

Saturday 17 October 2020, KO 20:00 BST

Referee: Craig Pawson Assistants: Richard West, Adrian Holmes

Fourth Official: Oliver Langford

VAR: Lee Mason Assistant VAR: Andy Halliday

Manchester United are back in action in the Premier League on Saturday evening when they face Newcastle United at St James’ Park. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be looking to bounce back from that terrible 1-6 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford almost a fortnight ago which was the worst defeat under the Norwegian and United just seemed so out of pace on the pitch after the match started well with United winning a penalty in the opening two minutes of the match and taking the lead. It went downhill from there. Spurs could have scored so many more goals and United will be expected to take a stand against the Magpies.

Steve Bruce’s side has started the 2020/21 season in good stead losing just one match in their last six with was against Brighton and Hove Albion, a team which United beat twice in the space of fours days only a few weeks ago now. That said, the form that had been shown by United seems to have disappeared with the squad having to restart their season from this weekend, aiming to kick back from that defeat to Spurs. United were not the only team to be caught off guard that weekend as the reigning Premier League champions were beaten 7-2 by Aston Villa, a club that only just avoided relegation last season – yet not much has been said about that.

United made a few signings on transfer deadline day, bringing in Alex Telles, a left-back from FC Porto, free agent Edinson Cavani, who will miss this weekend’s match and could make his debut against Paris Saint-Germain next week in the UEFA Champions, Facundo Pellistri from Uruguayan side Penarol and also announced a deal to sign Amad Diallo (Traore) from Italian side Atalanta, who will sign for the club during the January transfer window. United may not have signed Jadon Sancho, but instead signing a leader (Cavani), a top class left-back and two 18-year-old right-wingers who have the raw talent to succeed at the club.

Manchester United: LWWWLL

Tottenham Hotspur 6-1 L, Brighton and Hove Albion 3-0 W, Brighton and Hove Albion 3-2 W, Luton Town 3-0 W, Crystal Palace 3-1 L, Aston Villa 1-0 L (F)

Newcastle United: WWDWLW

Burnley 3-1 W, Newport County 1-1 (5-4) W, Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 D, Morecambe 7-0 W, Brighton and Hove Albion 3-0 L, Blackburn Rovers 1-0 W

Top Scorers: Bruno Fernandes, Juan Mata and Marcus Rashford are leading United’s top scorers with two goals each by Newcastle’s Callum Wilson has scored four times so far this season.

Manchester United Goals: 2 – Bruno Fernandes, Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford, 1 – Donny van de Beek, Mason Greenwood, Own Goal, Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay

United started the season with a devastating 3-1 home defeat against Crystal Palace, starting their season a week later than the rest of the Premier League. Then followed a 3-0 Carabao Cup victory over Luton Town, to return to winning ways. Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League them came with United winning 3-2 with controversial circumstances regarding a late penalty to win the match. Brighton in the Carabao Cup came days later with United registering a 3-0 victory again. United’s form then seemed so much better until Spurs came to Old Trafford and turned the screws to win 6-1 putting United’s season under a lot of pressure.

Tottenham Hotspur Goals: 4 – Callum Wilson, 2 – Joelinton, 1 – Allan Saint-Maximin, Isaac Hayden, Jacob Murphy, Jamaal Lascelles, Jeff Hendrick, Jonjo Shelvey, Miguel Almirón, Ryan Fraser

The Magpies started the Premier League season well with a 2-0 victory over West Ham United on the opening day of the season but then came their first defeat to Brighton, conceding three goals in the game – showing hoe lucky United were to get the upper hand over the team twice in the space of a few days. The Magpies got back into action with a 1-1 draw with Spurs, possibly showing his terrible United were against the North London side the weekend before last. In their last league match, the Magpies beat Burnley 3-1. In the Carabao Cup, the Magpies have beaten Blackburn Rovers 1-0, Morecambe 7-0 and beating Newport County 5-4 on penalties.

Team News: United have problems with injury, suspension and self isolation whereas the Magpies could have up to 11 players out of action for this fixture.

United have a few problems ahead of the match against Newcastle at St James’ Park on Saturday evening. Sergio Romero (not available for selection), Phil Jones (knee) and Anthony Martial (three match suspension) are not available to face the Magpies. Axel Tuanzebe (ankle/foot) has a 25% chance of featuring against the North East club, which seems to be more of a doubt than an indication that United’s defence could be strengthened but his return. New signings Edinson Cavani and Facundo Pellistri are not likely to be fit for this match with both players self isolating. Alex Telles, who has been playing for Brazil, could make his debut against the Magpies.

The Magpies have some injury problems ahead of the visit of United. Three players have already been ruled out of the match; Matt Ritchie (shoulder), Dwight Gayle (knee), and Martin Dubravka (calf/shin/heel). Paul Dummett, Ciaran Clark and Matthew Longstaff (all thigh) have a 25% chance of being involved in the match against United. Miguel Almiron (muscular), Jamal Lewis (calf/shin/heel), Jamaal Lascelles (thigh) and DeAndre Yedlin (knock) all have a 50% chance of facing United. Lastly, Allan Saint-Maximin (ankle/foot) has a 75% chance of facing United. The length of the injury and doubt list could be a problem for Steve Bruce against his former club.

Predicted Starting XI: Martial suspended, Ighalo to lead the line? Maguire rested to overcome problematic period? Telles to make his debut at left-back? Van de Beek to start ahead of Pogba?

Against the Magpies, I think Solskjaer should give Dean Henderson a shot in goal as he has not played during the international break and David De Gea did not exactly do himself much justice against the Ukraine. Henderson could provide some safe hands in goal and he at least deserves to be given the chance as he has not conceded yet. Harry Maguire’s problems have got worse after he saw himself sent off for England, so a break to overcome some problems which seem to stem from the summer. Paul Pogba was poor against Spurs so should be benched giving Donny van de Beek a chance to start. Anthony Martial is suspended so Odion Ighalo should start.

Match Prediction: United have beaten the Magpies 29 times in the history of the Premier League with the Magpies winning just seven times – there have been 14 draws between these two teams.

United have met the Magpies 50 times in the Premier League with United winning 29 times, drawing 14 times and losing seven times. United have scored 101 goals in these matches compared to the Magpies’ 51 – a 50 goal difference between the two sides. United have won one penalty, scoring one with the Magpies winning three and scoring three. United have kept 19 clean sheets in the 50 matches compared to the Magpies’ 11 – which shows both teams are capable of shutting up shop, in the past at least. United have been shown 84 yellow cards to the Magpies 82 with both teams having three players sent off in the 50 matches played in the Premier League.

In this fixture last season, which was played in the 6 October 2019, the Magpies beat United 1-0 with Matty Longstaff scoring the only goal of the match. United played badly in the fixture at. time whereby form was not the best at the club, which is a similar situation this season, especially after that 1-6 defeat to Spurs in the last match which was almost two weeks ago. United found their feet against the Magpies last season, winning 4-1 at Old Trafford on Boxing Day with Longstaff opening the scoring again but Anthony Martial scoring a brace, with both Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford on the scoresheet in the victory.

Newcastle United 1-3 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

Manchester United to consider Jesse Lingard future with Premier League clubs interested – reports

Manchester United are reportedly considering the future of attacking midfielder Jesse Lingard with the player falling out of favour at the club, not just with the supporters but with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also. The 27-year-old should be in the prime of his career at this moment in time but that seems to have come and gone for the player.

In 35 appearances for United during the 2019/20 season, which was halted by the coronavirus pandemic, Lingard has made a total of 35 appearances for the club, playing 1,714 minutes of football. Despite the number of minutes played, the player has scored just two goals, assisting two more, which is a poor record for an attacking player.

Solskjaer has been unimpressed with Lingard this season, which for me is an understatement. If it was not for injuries, Lingard would have found it hard to make an 18-man squad for a match, let alone starting matches or coming off the bench. Granted he has had off the pitch family problems but that does not work as an excuse for non-footballers when performance is an issue so why should it work for him?

It is suggested that Newcastle United are interested in the player, which is surprising considering they are likely to be owned by the Saudi’s at some stage this year, if the takeover of the club actually happens. Luka Jovic and Philippe Coutinho are also players the North East club are seemingly interested in this summer, whenever the transfer window opens.

Three other Premier League clubs are credited with an interest in Lingard; Leicester City, Everton and West Ham United. The report gives the impression that United will be seeking around £30 million for the academy graduate who is contracted to the Old Trafford club until the summer of 2021, although there is an option for a further year.

United are seeking to bring Borussia Dortmund winger, Jadon Sancho to the Old Trafford club this summer, and may need to release funds in order to do that, clearing the deadwood at the club at the same time. It is something that needed to happen and has been on the cards for a number of years. Some players at the club are holding it back.

Solskjaer is seeking to add Sancho to his attacking lineup this summer, having Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Sancho in the front three, which will do a lot to help United score the goals needed to carry them to the summit of the Premier League and back in contention for their 21st league title, which for the last eight years has been impossible.

It is expected that Lingard will be one of five United players to be shown the exit this summer with Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Andreas Pereira and Alexis Sanchez also rumoured to be shown the door this summer, if there are offers for them, which could be the case with some of them. Solskjaer will need to be ruthless to guide United back to glory.

This summer was tipped to be a big one for United. Whether that actually happens because of the coronavirus pandemic, remains to be seen. However, football looks likely to continue when it is safe to do so, so therefore, United will need to do something sooner rather than later. Getting rid of the deadwood is very important. It is something that United have not done enough of over the last seven or eight years.

copyright: JW