Who: Newcastle vs Manchester United
When: Sunday, October 6th @ 11:30am ET
Line: Newcastle +340 | Draw +245 | Manchester United -114
Manchester United’s season is already getting dangerously close to being dead in the water. Of course, lady luck hasn’t been on their side ever since the opening weekend drubbing of Chelsea, with injuries as well as botched opportunities not allowing them to live up to their expected points hype.
Now two games without a win in the league, United travel to the land of the Geordies hoping to at least keep up with the top six, if not the top-four. Newcastle United themselves are stuck in a ditch, having picked up that single win and sitting shamefully in the relegation zone.
Steve Bruce’s tactics aren’t working at all, with Newcastle being an absolutely drab side going forward. New signing Joelinton has not being able to do it all by himself and even their normally solid defence was ripped apart by a Leicester City thrashing last weekend. The pressure is mounting on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, as his side must turn up big against the struggling Newcastle or risk falling deeper into obscurity.
Newcastle United Predicted XI
Dubravka, Yedlin, Schar, Lascelles, Dummett, Longstaff, Ki Sung-Yueng, Almiron, Saint-Maxim, Atsu, Joelinton
Newcastle are themselves experiencing an injury crisis of sorts, with first-teamers Jonjo Shelvey, Jetro Williems & Matt Ricthie all injured. Dwight Gayle & Florian Lejeune remain out, while Isaac Hayden will also miss the game after his red card against Leicester.
Manchester United Predicted XI
De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Young, Matic, McTominay, Pogba, Pereira, James, Rashford.
For OGS, Luke Shaw is still out for an unidentified period of time despite having started light training recently. Paul Pogba was left out of their squad for the Europa League game against AZ Alkmaar with issues on his foot injury but, I think, should be back on Sunday. Anthony Martial’s also a doubt, with a return against Liverpool after the international break seeming a more realistic time-frame.
Newcastle United vs Manchester United Preview
Nothing is going Manchester United’s way these days. With only two wins from the first seven in the new Premier League season, they’ve experienced the worst start to a league season in 30 years!
Of course, the statistics are continuing to work onto their favour, showing them to being unlucky to not have been in the top five or scoring more goals. When it comes to realistic output, their players have come up short ever since that opening week brilliant show against Chelsea.
For a side with so much quality in their ranks, they must amp up their attacking intensity by being more effective and quicker at creating chances. Their finishing needs improving, with Marcus Rashford especially doing no favours to his reputation with consistently scuffing easy chances.
Daniel James has remained a bright spark with his electric running and will use that to strike fear into Newcastle’s defenders. Scott McTominay’s playing with his heart on the sleeve, as his tenacity and clever movement, for me, is assured to create some sparks at Tyneside.
Pogba, I think, must improve his productivity going forward and work on his finishing or timing his passes as well. United’s defence did well apart from that one error leading to Arsenal’s goal on Monday night, but their physical aptitude will be tested by a Newcastle side hooping in long crosses. However, it’s their underperforming strike-force which must roll its sleeves, dug in and finish off the little chances they manage to create.
Newcastle are now goalless in more than two games, having last scored in the early minutes against Liverpool. Despite some exciting players up-front in Joelinton, Allan Saint-Maxim & Miguel Almiron, there’s very little productivity thanks to Steve Bruce’s stone-age tactics.
The experienced manager must prove his ability against his former side, making sure to utilize his attacking stars attributes perfectly. Newcastle have the ability to torment teams aerially as well as moving forward like a pack, but I feel are too cautious for their own good.
In order to take the game to an under-performing Man United, Bruce must allow his side to bomb forward even if it leaves their defence exposed. United need to ride the wind, unleash their unique creativity+ explosiveness going forward to break down the Geordies’ packed defence line to get a crucial win before the crucial Liverpool derby.
At this point, predicting a Man United win feels like spelling my own doom. However, I’ll run the gauntlet once again to go with a 2-1 win for United at Tyneside.