Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle United host Manchester United this Sunday, in the Premier League. Newcastle United have won two of their last 28 Premier League games against the reds from Manchester, having drawn seven and lost 19 games in the process. The Tyneside have drawn two and lost four of the last six meetings in the league.
Newcastle United played a 1-1 draw against relegation rivals, Crystal Palace, last Sunday, in their last league game. Mohamed Diame scored for the magpies midway through the first half. However, Luka Milivojevic penalty in the second half ensured a point each for both sides.
The draw against the Eagles meant Benitez’s men are now without a win in the last five games in all competitions, losing two and drawing five games. The Magpies have not managed to keep a clean sheet in any of those five games. Both of their last two games in the league have finished 1-1.
Meanwhile, Manchester United beat Huddersfield 2-0 at Old Trafford last weekend, in their last game in the league. New signing, Alexis Sanchez, scored his first goal for the club in the win against the Terriers. The Chilean stepped up to take a spot kick in the 68th minute of the game; his tame effort was parried away by Jonas Lossl only for the ball to find Sanchez who slots home this time. This was after Romelu Lukaku had put the reds in front with a goal earlier in the second half.
The victory against Huddersfield meant the Red Devils have won six out of their last seven games in all competitions. The sole loss in the run coming against Spurs at Wembley last week. Mourinho’s men have kept a clean sheet each of the six-win in the process.
Newcastle have slid to 16th in the Premier League table after winning just one league game since the start of January. The Magpies have won six, drawn seven and lost 13 games in the league this season and managed 25 points from 26 matches played so far.
The Tyneside have struggled to find the net with regularity this season. They have scored just 24 goals in the league this season, only three teams have scored fewer. However, Benitez has got this team to defend well as a team. They have conceded 36 goals this campaign. Among the teams who are currently in the bottom half, only Brighton have let in fewer goals.
The 19-time PL champions have won nine of their last 13 Premier League games against Newcastle at St. James’ Park, the only loss in the run was a 3-0 defeat in January of 2012. In fact, the Red Devils have won 12 away Premier League games against Newcastle, more than against any other club in the competition.
Newcastle have not won any of their last eight home games in the league, drawing three and losing five games in the process. Only once have they had a long run of home games without a win, they went on a run of nine Premier League home games without a win in 1999. The Magpies have conceded more Premier League goals against Manchester United than against any other side (92). They have lost 26 games against the Reds from Manchester, which is also a record.
Rafael Benitez has lost six managerial encounters in the Premier League against Jose Mourinho. He has only lost more games against Sir Alex Ferguson. However, Mourinho has never won a Premier League match at St. James’ Park. Having played six league games at the home of Newcastle, Mourinho has drawn three and lost three games.
Referee Craig Pawson will be in charge of the fixture while Lee Betts and Richard West will be the Assistant Referees. Paul Tierney will be on fourth official duties.
Joselu is ill and is doubtful for the game. Jesus Gamez is also a doubt due to his ankle injury. New signing Islam Slimani is out with a thigh injury. Ciaran Clark is carrying a knee injury, and he is unlikely to feature on Sunday.
Fellaini is out for a couple of months due to his knee problems. Ibrahimovic is expected to return in the final week of this month. Phil Jones missed the last game with an illness. He remains a doubt for Sunday. Long-term absentee, Eric Bailey, is still not close to his return. Blind is out with an ankle injury.
Newcastle vs Man United Lineup (Predicted XI)
Newcastle Lineup (4-4-1-1)
Defense: Yedlin (RB), Dummett (LB), Lascelles (RCB), Clark (LCB)
Midfield: Ritchie (RM), Kenedy (LM), Shelvey (RCM), Diame (LCM)
Manchester United Lineup (4-2-3-1)
GK: De Gea
Defense: Valencia (RB), Young (LB), Smalling (RCB), Rojo (LCB)
Midfield: Matic (CDM), Pogba (CDM), Sanchez (RAM), Lingard (CAM), Martial (LAM)
Newcastle vs Manchester United Prediction
The Magpies have won just five times in 45 attempts against Manchester United in the Premier League. Manchester United have put the disappointment of Spurs loss by winning against the Terriers and are now looking to build momentum.
Newcastle are well organized and tough to break down. However, with the quality at their disposal, United are expected to take all the three points.
Our prediction is Manchester United to win 0-3.