Match Preview: Manchester United vs Newcastle United
DATE : 26TH DECEMBER, 2012
VENUE : OLD TRAFFORD, MANCHESTER
REFEREE : Mike Dean
KICK OFF AT 8.30 pm on ESPN.
It’s Boxing Day and it promises to be an action packed day in the Premier League. The festive day of football marks the halfway point of the season. Even after securing their 1st draw in this campaign, United were assured top spot in the table. Manchester United go head to head with Newcastle United in a bid to extend their lead at the top. Sir Alex Ferguson would not want his side to drop any more points before the new year and would want maintain the lead against Manchester City, who also play Sunderland at the same time. Newcastle United, on the other hand, would have to fight hard to get a point from this tie giving their current form. They have not been the force they were this time last year when they thrashed United 3-0 on their own turf.
MANCHESTER UNITED :
Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that he will be making certain changes in the festive period so that he could keep his players fresh during the busy period. Rafael da Silva and Shinji Kagawa will have late fitness tests and might start on the bench for United. After a disappointing game against Swansea, Wayne Rooney might be rested or will be forced to start from the bench. Javier Hernandez or Danny Welbeck will be hoping they get the spot. Darren Fletcher could be played in midfield and Tom Cleverley, who has been starting quite a few games, might be given a rest.
NEWCASTLE UNITED :
Alan Pardew will be without the services of Cheick Tiote. The Ivory Coast International had picked up his 5th yellow card of the season against QPR. Newcastle have been hit by injuries severely with Yohan Cabaye and Ben Arfa set to miss out due to injury. Ryan Taylor and Steven Taylor will also miss the tie due to injury. Sylvain Marvaeux could get a start in midfield with Jonas Gutierrez. Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse will continue to lead the line. Gabriel Obertan might also get an opportunity against his former employers and could well be a decent option in attack.
Manchester United have scored 44 goals in 18 games this season and have the best home record in the league dropping just three points at Old Trafford. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side has found it relatively easy to score a goal as compared to defending, which was seen in their last game against Swansea. A blip in concentration and United conceded a goal. Their recent form is just another example of how well they perform during the festive period and this could be a worrying point for Newcastle United, who managed a narrow win against lowly QPR.
Newcastle United are in terrible form if you look at the last 5 encounters. Languishing at 14th place with only 20 points in the bag, Alan Pardew might have to spend big in the January Transfer Window if his side continue to play the way they are. The Magpies away form is even worse. They have played 8 away games so far and have failed every single time to get a win.
- Newcastle have only won 1 of their last 22 matches against Manchester United, and that was last season at St James Park.
- Sir Alex Ferguson has won 21, drawn 12 and lost 4 games in 37 against Newcastle United.
- The Red Devils have won 17 and lost just one of their last 20 Boxing Day fixtures and they have won the last eight in a row.
- Newcastle haven’t won away at Old Trafford in any competition since February 1972, a run of 30 games without a win.
My Predicted Line up:
MANCHESTER UNITED – Lindegaard – Smalling, Vidic, Evans , Evra – Carrick, Fletcher, Young, Valencia – Welbeck, Van Persie.
NEWCASTLE UNITED – Krul – Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon – Anita, Obertan, Gutierrez, Marveaux – Cisse, Ba,
Manchester United are clear favourites going into this game. Given their form in recent weeks and the team they have, it will be very difficult for Newcastle to avoid defeat. I would go for a home win with the scoreline reading 2-0.