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2 players return, 4-2-3-1: Man Utd predicted XI to face Newcastle

Manchester United are in action at St James’ Park on Sunday to take on struggling Newcastle United.

Rafa Benitez’s side have not won in the Premier League since New Year’s Day, recording three 1-1 draws and two losses.  We came from behind to win 4-1 in the reverse fixture back in November.

We start the weekend five points ahead of Liverpool who are down in third, looking to finish the season strongly.

Here is the team that I think Jose Mourinho will select against Newcastle:

Goalkeeper: David de Gea

Our first choice goalkeeper has played every minute in the Premier League this season and kept a league-high 15th clean sheet versus Huddersfield Town last weekend.

Defence: Antonio Valencia, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Luke Shaw

With Eric Bailly sidelined this is Jose Mourinho’s preferred back four.  Luke Shaw has displaced Ashley Young at left-back over the past two months and should keep his place in the starting lineup up North on Sunday.  Phil Jones missed the win over Huddersfield last weekend due to illness but should be available again to Mourinho for this game.  He’ll reunited with Chris Smalling in central defence with captain Antonio Valencia on the right.

Midfield: Paul Pogbe, Nemanja Matic; Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Alexis Sanchez

Paul Pogba was dropped to the bench against Huddersfield but you can expect the French star to be back in the starting lineup at St James’ Park.  Mourinho has reverted back to a 4-2-3-1 in our past two games so Pogba can be expected to partner Nemanja Matic in front of the back four.  With Marcus Rashford being a doubt, Juan Mata should start on the right wing again as Alexis Sanchez has started his three games for us down the left wing since joining from Arsenal last month.  Jesse Lingard has been in good form  in the number 10 role for the past six weeks or so.

Striker: Romelu Lukaku

The Belgian striker opened the scoring last time out and can be expected to remain up front for this one.  Anthony Martial and Rashford are both backup options in this role and down the wings, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic still sidelined.

Here’s how our team looks on paper:

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