EPL Match Preview
Louis van Gaal takes his Manchester United team to the North East on Tuesday evening to face a Newcastle United side, desperate for a win.
THREE STRAIGHT DEFEATS MAKES RELEGATION THE TALK OF THE TOON
A month ago it looked as though Newcastle United had finally turned a corner after impressive wins against Liverpool and Spurs respectively. Three straight defeats over Christmas and New Year however, have catapulted the Magpies back into the relegation dogfight as they welcome Manchester United to St James’ Park on Tuesday. Coach Steve McClaren has urged supporters not to lose faith despite the team being knocked out of the FA Cup at the third-round stage by Watford last weekend. At a recent press conference he declared that; “Fifty thousand people have to get behind this team and support this team,” he said. “We have to stick together.”
WATCHING UNITED BECOMING A CURE FOR INSOMNIA
An injury time penalty from Wayne Rooney disposed of League One Sheffield United in the FA Cup in front of a largely irritated crowd at Old Trafford on Saturday, as fans once again made their feelings known about the current situation with their team. Coach Louis van Gaal came out fighting once again after the final whistle, despite chants from the Stretford End for Jose Mourinho during the game. That his team mustered only three shots on target in the entire 90 minutes (one of those being Rooney’s spot-kick) makes this one unrecognisable from the many constructed by the watching Sir Alex Ferguson. With the power brokers at Old Trafford set to meet again this week to discuss the Dutchman’s future, van Gaal takes his team to the North-East to face an under pressure Newcastle United side who on paper, look to be no match for the men from Manchester .Then again, the same was said about Liverpool’s visit over Christmas and the form book was turned upside down – A repeat of this on Tuesday will only usher van Gaal closer to the Old Trafford exit.
Newcastle United are still without many senior players due to injury with Papiss Cissé, Gabriel Obertan, Tim Krul, Stephen Taylor and Michael Williamson the major names unavailable to McClaren. Local boy Jack Colback could return from a hamstring injury to bolster the midfield, with Robert Elliot back between the posts. The talented yet unpredictable Aleksandar Mitrovic looks set to lead the attack once again, the best football betting sites currently quote him at *9.50 to open the scoring.
The visitors look set to be without German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, who suffered a knee injury in Saturday’s FA Cup win. His partner in the centre of the field, Frenchman Morgan Schneiderlin is also an injury worry for van Gaal, but he should line-up alongside Michael Carrick. Ashley Young should also return at left-back after sitting out Saturday’s game. Phil Jones, Antonio Valencia and Marcos Rojo are still recovering from their respective injury lay-offs.
PROBABLE STARTING XI’S
Newcastle United (4-4-1-1) Elliot; Dummett, Coloccini, Mbemba, Janmaat; Wijnaldum, Colback, Tioté, Sissoko; Pérez; Mitrovic
Manchester United (4-2-3-1) De Gea; Young, Smalling, Blind, Darmian; Carrick, Schneiderlin; Martial, Herrera, Mata; Rooney
HEAD TO HEAD
The Red Devils have won three of their last five league visits to St James’ Park, Young scoring a late winner in the corresponding fixture last season. Manchester United has an impressive record overall against the Magpies, being beaten only twice in their last 28 meetings in all competitions. Newcastle United have failed to score in their last three Premier League matches whilst van Gaal’s men have kept a clean sheet in their last three games against the men from the North-East. The best online sports betting sites are offering *9.00 for the match to end goalless on Tuesday.
Newcastle United 5.00 Draw 3.75 Manchester United 1.80
*odds courtesy of Bet365
By: Steve Mitchell (@barafundler)