Top-four rivals Manchester United and Newcastle United rekindle their feud at St. James’ Park in Sunday’s Premier League matchup.
Newcastle United is currently in a promising position to secure a spot in the Champions League, thanks partly to Tottenham Hotspur’s poor form and recent upswing.
After going winless in five matches between February and early March, the Magpies needed help finding their form. Still, two back-to-back 2-1 victories against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Nottingham Forest have given them renewed hope.
Despite a delicate chip from Emmanuel Dennis in the match against Nottingham Forest, Alexander Isak’s two goals kept Newcastle within striking distance of Tottenham.
The London club is only two points ahead of Eddie Howe’s side in the Premier League table, despite having played two more games.
Newcastle’s fate is now in their hands as the season enters its final stretch. With Howe at the helm, the team hopes to maintain their newfound momentum and secure a coveted spot in one of Europe’s most prestigious competitions.
Newcastle PL Form: D L L W W
Manchester United had a busy schedule in March, with their top-flight pursuits taking a backseat to their battles for Europa League and FA Cup glory against Real Betis and Fulham, respectively.
While a quadruple may be too lofty a goal for the Red Devils, they have maintained a strong position in the Premier League despite only playing two matches during the month – a 7-0 thrashing at the hands of Liverpool and a goalless draw with Southampton. They sit in third place, one point ahead of Tottenham, who have played two more games.
One surprising statistic for Manchester United is their poor defensive record on the road this season, the fourth-worst in the league. They have conceded a total of 27 goals away from home, with only Bournemouth (38), Nottingham Forest (32), and Leicester City (30) conceding more. Despite this, United have managed to stay competitive thanks to their strong attack and talented squad, and they will surely be looking to improve their away form as they push for a successful end to the season.
Man United PL Form: D W W L D
Newcastle United will have to make do without the services of Miguel Almiron and Emil Krafth in their upcoming match, as both players are unavailable due to injury.
Almiron is nursing a thigh injury, while Krafth is recovering from an ACL issue. Additionally, Ryan Fraser continues to be sidelined, training with the Under-21s instead of the first team.
However, Joelinton will return after serving a two-game suspension for accumulating 10 yellow cards.
Man United will have to make do without the services of Casemiro for the second consecutive game due to his four-game domestic ban.
Meanwhile, Sabitzer picked up a knock on international duty with Austria and will require a fitness check before the game. This leaves Ten Hag with a light midfield as Donny van de Beek and Christian Eriksen continue to recover from their long-term injuries.
Despite Sabitzer’s chances of being passed fit, the same cannot be said for Alejandro Garnacho and Tom Heaton, who are nursing ankle injuries.
Newcastle United’s expected starting lineup:
Pope; Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn; Longstaff, Guimaraes, Willock; Saint-Maximin, Isak, Joelinton
Manchester United’s expected starting lineup:
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez, Shaw; Sabitzer, McTominay; Antony, Fernandes, Rashford; Weghorst
Head to Head
Manchester United and Newcastle United have a long-standing rivalry, having faced each other 174 times. The Red Devils have historically held the upper hand in this fixture, with 91 wins to Newcastle’s 43. The remaining 41 matches have ended in draws.
The two teams first met in the old Division Two on April 6, 1985. At that time, Manchester United was still known as Newton Heath. United triumphed over Newcastle in their first meeting with a 5-1 victory.
Time, Date & Venue
Date: Sunday, April 2
Time: 04:30 pm, BST
Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle
When Manchester United and Newcastle United last met at Wembley, the Red Devils came out on top with relative ease.
However, the upcoming fixture between the two sides could be a different story altogether.
The absence of Casemiro and a lack of depth in midfield are problematic for the Red Devils.