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Other SportsManchester United v Newcastle: Preview, expected line-ups and prediction

Manchester United v Newcastle: Preview, expected line-ups and prediction

The State of Play

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag needs a win with pressure starting to mount following Sunday’s humbling 3-0 defeat at home to Manchester City. His team looked a bedraggled mess by the final whistle as the gulf in class between them and their cross-town rivals became more apparent.
Ten Hag will rightly point to the uncertainty surrounding the club and the reports that suggest Jim Ratcliffe is soon to acquire 25 per cent of the club, and control the football department, but he needs to reassert his authority over a dressing room that appears to lack leadership.
A top-five finish in the Premier League, which could be enough to qualify for next season’s Champions League, is already starting to look a real challenge – United sit eighth, already seven points behind fifth-placed Aston Villa – meaning the cups could take on extra significance. The EFL Cup is undoubtedly the lowest priority compared to the Champions League and FA Cup but Ten Hag will see the short-term value of continuing the defence of a trophy they won last season.

Newcastle lost to United in last year’s final but a return visit to Wembley could be sacrificed as they take on the increased workload caused by playing in the Champions League. The strains are already starting to show on a squad that has enjoyed major investment from the club’s Saudi owners.
Head coach Eddie Howe is on more solid ground than Ten Hag and can afford to take a relaxed approach to tomorrow’s game, despite Newcastle not winning a major domestic trophy for 68 years.
Newcastle have failed to win either of their last two games, a 1-0 defeat at home to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League followed by a 2-2 draw at Wolves on Saturday.

Team News

Ten Hag is likely to make wholesale changes to the side beaten by City. Several established players – most notably captain Bruno Fernandes and forward Marcus Rashford – have underperformed recently and it seems a good time to give them a rest. Raphael Varane and Sergio Reguilon are likely to come in after being surprisingly left on the bench at the weekend. Alejandro Garnacho will be tasked with breathing life into a toothless forward line.

Newcastle are in the midst of an injury crisis with Alexander Isak, Elliot Anderson, Jacob Murphy, Harvey Barnes and Sven Botman all out and midfielder Sandro Tonali starting a 10-month ban for illegal betting practices.
Isak’s injury has placed an extra burden on Callum Wilson as the club’s lone striker so the former Bournemouth man may not be risked amid a busy run of fixtures. Anthony Gordon could deputise up front.

Expected line-ups

Manchester United: Onana; Dalot, Varane, Lindelof, Reguilon; McTominay, Eriksen, Mount; Antony, Garnacho, Hojlund

Newcastle: Pope; Livramento, Dummett, Schar, Targett; Longstaff, Joelinton, Hall; Almiron, Willock, Gordon

What they said

Erik ten Hag: “Losing the derby is horrible. It could have been going a different way but it didn’t. Now you have to deal with it. Accept it, how it is, and, in 24 hours, you have to get up and go the next game.”

Eddie Howe: Manchester United are a top team with top players, they will possibly rotate their squad.
“That is unclear until we get the teamsheet, but I think one of the key tests for any team is how you respond to setbacks. We had one against Borussia Dortmund recently, I thought it was a good response from the group at the weekend in a really good game at Wolves.
“I think that’s what you’re looking for when you’re in a manager’s position.
“We’re going to have to utilise our squad in this game, we have another game against Arsenal a couple of days later.
“Then we go to Dortmund, so to not use our squad I think would be foolish. That doesn’t mean we don’t trust our squad and back them to go to Old Trafford and try to win the game.”

Prediction

Manchester United may be struggling but Newcastle’s need to rest key players could give the hosts the edge. The likes of Mason Mount and Garnacho will also be desperate to impress so back United to get the job done.

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https://www.businessmanchester.co.uk/category/sport/

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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