LINE: Newcastle +400 | Draw +325 | Manchester United -159
WHEN: Saturday, October 17th @3:00pm EST
WATCH: NBC Sports / Peacock
After a much-needed two-week break, Manchester United are back to face their demons. Following the embarrassing loss to Tottenham, a big win is needed to kickstart their redemption story. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side seems to be in total disarray but he’ll hope the break acts as a new dawn to their fortunes.
Newcastle United, however, won’t be as forgiving. They’ve seemed a pretty solid unit this time and are well capable of taking the fight to ‘superior’ teams. The Magpies will aim to only pound on their misery, but it’s time for the Red Devils to showcase their quality & character to get their Premier League campaign finally on the right track.
Newcastle United Likely XI
Darlow, Kraft, Schar, Lascalles, Lewis, Hayden, Shelvey, Hendrick, Almiron, Saint-Maximin, Wilson.
Newcastle have a ton of injury problems, but the International break should allow a few players to return. Matt Ritchie & Dwight Gayle remain long-term absentees and Martin Dubravka regaining fitness, but Jamaal Lascelles could return.
Manchester United Likely XI
De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, Matic, Pogba, Bruno, Van de Beek, Rashford, Greenwood.
Solskjaer probably won’t make too many changes, mostly because he can’t with new signings mostly unfit/unavailable & lack of alternatives. With Anthony Martial suspended, Donny van de Beek should get his first PL start as we could also see a change in formation.
Newcastle United vs Manchester United preview
What does one club do after losing a game 1-6? Well, winning the next game would be a start! United will be shaken by that embarrassing loss, but they can’t afford another similar meltdown at St James Park. Solskjaer must keep his squad motivated & challenge them to turn things around.
Firstly, United cannot be as callous or shockingly error-prone as they were against Spurs. The players need to show more energy/aggression, hound down opposition attackers and implement their authority. The Red Devils have a clear quality advantage over Newcastle & that needs to show on Saturday.
Their backline should be completely swapped after that result as OGS is unlikely to make too many changes because of circumstances. Harry Maguire & Luke Shaw were particularly horrendous against Spurs & must put in a strong performance to redeem themselves.
Maguire needs to lead from the front, make better decisions & contain the clinical Callum Wilson to earn his name as captain. With Alex Telles arrival, if Shaw continues straying off his duties, he could be dropped. Victor Lindelof & Aaron Wan-Bissaka too are under the hammer, so they also must react better to the directness of the tricky Allan Saint-Maximin & creativity of Miguel Almiron.
United’s attack went to sleep once the destruction began against Spurs, but they need to be more proactive on Saturday. There’s a lacking killer instinct in their front-line, with United relying on penalties too much to win games. With no Martial, Mason Greenwood & Marcus Rashford must do their team proud by being more clinical & make better choices to win their side the game.
Bruno Fernandes needs to stop making misplaced passes & be more accurate with his creativity, while Paul Pogba needs to massively raise his performance-level to live up to his reputation. Van de Beek should add that added spark to their attack with his clever movement+link-up play, but United’s front-two must take their opportunities well to break open Newcastle’s stubborn defence.
While it’s hard to imagine United winning big after THAT loss, they do bounce back from Intl breaks pretty well. Their away form is also solid in recent months, so I’ll go with a scrappy, very ugly 1-2 win for the Red Devils.