Manchester United V Newcastle Preview : Which side will get back on track?
Event Venue: Old Trafford, Kick off: 17:30. BT Sport.See Stats
Just a few weeks ago, things looked a lot brighter for both Manchester United and Newcastle United. Now, after dips in form, they face each other on Saturday evening hoping to get the kickstart they need to get back on track. Newcastle needs the Rafa effect to resume as quickly s possible while United can't afford to lose any more ground than they already have on neighbours Man City at the top of the Premier League table.
Jose's not so thick skin
It appears as though the pressure is getting to boss Jose Mourinho. After starting the season unbeaten with new summer signing Romelu Lukaku banging in the goals, now that the big Belgian has stopped scoring some of the results have dried up too. The Red Devils have lost two of their last three Premier League games; one of those losses came away to Chelsea and is perfectly understandable, the other came away to Huddersfield and is less so. Following a narrow 1-0 victory over Spurs, Mourinho took a dig at the United fans who don't enjoy his careful football against the top six sides. After scoring 11 in his first 10 games, Lukaku has failed to score in his last seven Manchester United games and he too has aimed a less than subtle dig at the United fanbase and his critics. It's not a healthy atmosphere and the sooner Paul Pogba returns to fitness the better it will be for everyone at United.
With the talk of a takeover in the near future still the talk of Tyneside, Rafa Benitez's job is just to ensure that the club stays on course for Premier League survival until that much-needed investment arrives. However, three 1-0 losses in their last four games has shown that the Magpies are desperately lacking in the goalscoring department, even if their boss' tactics are keeping them in games. Who they have lost to is even more concerning; Brighton, Burnley and Bournemouth - surely all teams that Newcastle would have hoped to take at least something from. Joselu is never going to score 15-plus in a league campaign and although Matt Ritchie and Christian Atsu are creative sparks, the Toon don't have much beyond them or options from the bench. It seems that the vast majority of Newcastle's games are decided by a one-goal margin, but they aren't coming out on the right side of them lately.
Newcastle's recent form is hard to get behind and if you have watched them play, they struggle to make any real chances. United don't really have those problems, even if they have suffered without Paul Pogba. Mourinho's men will squeeze past.
- Man United have lost two of their last three games in the Premier League
- Newcastle have won once in thier last six
- Newcastle's last three defeats have been 1-0
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