Connect with us

Manchester United

Manchester United vs Newcastle United Preview: Last chance to avoid unwanted feat at waterlogged Old Trafford

It’s time for Manchester United to drop the curtain on the 2023/24 Premier League home campaign as fellow European hopefuls Newcastle United arrive at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

United’s quest for continental football next season suffered another blow last Sunday as Arsenal squeezed past Erik ten Hag’s injury-hit squad 1-0 at the Theatre of Dreams.

Heavy rain in Manchester that day added insult to injury, flooding Old Trafford’s away dressing room and creating a waterfall off the East Stand roof. A thunderstorm swamped the 114-year-old stadium shortly after the Red Devils lost their ninth home game in all competitions this season.

They’re now on the precipice of an unwanted piece of history. Losing to Newcastle would see Man Utd suffer ten home defeats in a single season for the first time ever. 

More importantly, another sub-par result would probably end United’s hopes of securing European qualification and pour more pressure on Ten Hag ahead of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s first summer at the club.

While things haven’t gone Ten Hag’s way this season, there’s still one last saving grace for the Dutchman, with the repeat of last term’s FA Cup final against Manchester City waiting in the wings. 

Man Utd will play one more Premier League match before taking on Pep Guardiola’s side in the Wembley showpiece later in May, and they need every encouragement they can get in these difficult times. 

Match Preview

Despite lacking numerous first-team stars, the Red Devils made a valiant attempt to derail Arsenal’s title bid at the weekend but slumped to their first home league defeat since February. 

Newcastle’s upcoming visit to Old Trafford should put the smiles back on United’s faces, as it’s been over a decade since they last lost a home game against the Magpies in the Premier League (W6, D2).

However, the recent history of this fixture hasn’t been kind to Man Utd, with Ten Hag’s lads losing their last three competitive encounters against the Tyne Army without scoring. 

Back-to-back defeats ‘to nil’ in the build-up to this meeting paint a bleak picture for the Dutch manager, who has overseen four scoreless outings in five against Newcastle as United boss (W1, D1, L3).

Eddie Howe has seemingly had Ten Hag’s number and will be keen to improve his record in perhaps the 54-year-old’s last home game at the helm of the record-time English champions. 

He can draw confidence from Newcastle’s decent run of just one defeat across their last eight league matches (W5, D2), even though VAR denied his team a late win in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Brighton & Hove Albion.

Newcastle’s three-game winning streak against Man Utd in the follow-up of a 2-0 loss in the 2022/23 League Cup final puts them in a unique position ahead of this clash. 

Not since the start of the 21st century have the Magpies beaten United in four games in a row, yet three defeats on their last five Premier League travels (W2) could douse the optimism around the travelling camp.

Team News

Man Utd couldn’t have called upon the services of Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford for the Arsenal game, but the captain could return to the starting XI on Wednesday. 

Lisandro Martinez, who returned to training last week, will probably stay on the bench alongside Amad Diallo following the youngster’s minor injury concern on Sunday.

Antony Martial, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Tyrell Malacia, Mason Mount and Raphael Varane are on the sidelines with fitness problems.

The French defender is counting his final days at the club, and he took to social media to bid an emotional farewell to Man Utd fans ahead of his impending exit. 

Manchester United vs Newcastle United Potential Line-ups

Manchester United (4-2-3-1): Andre Onana; Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Willy Kambwala, Jonny Evans, Diogo Dalot; Scott McTominay, Kobbie Mainoo; Antony, Bruno Fernandes, Alejandro Garnacho; Rasmus Hojlund.

Newcastle United (4-3-3): Martin Dubravka; Kieran Trippier, Krafth, Dan Burn, Lewis Hall; Elliott Anderson, Bruno Guimaraes, Sean Longstaff; Miguel Almiron, Alexander Isak, Anthony Gordon.

Latest News