22nd August 2015; 1245 BST
Manchester United will take to Old Trafford again this week for the third league fixture of the season as Louis Van Gaala s men host Steve McClarena s Newcastle United. After the a Memphis Paradea Tuesday night, which saw the Red Devils batter Belgian side Club Brugge 3-1 in the first leg of the Champions League play-off, Van Gaal will be hoping for something similar this Saturday as United hope to continue their winning ways. Meanwhile, the Magpies travel for their second continuous away fixture, coming off of a 0-2 loss at the Liberty Stadium with only a point in the bag thus far, from the 2-2 draw in the opening game against Southampton.
Team News and Predicted Line-up
The Manchester United starting XI seems to be settling down relatively quickly, as the same squad took to the field in both their previous fixtures. With two victories and the side managing to string together two decent performances, Van Gaal probably would not want to break the fluidity that is very slowly creeping into the squad.
The United back-line, which has been surprisingly resolute – they are yet to concede a goal this season – shall not see any changes. Chris Smalling, playing with Daley Blind at center-back, has impressed to the extent that the Englishman is seriously being touted as the a new Rio Ferdinand/Nemanja Vidi a , which after more than 150 appearances for United is a tad bit on the late end.
The full-backs have impressed even further, as Luke Shaw and Matteo Darmian look like players who have been at Manchester United longer than a Mikea Smalling. Sergio Romero will certainly continue in goal, as the De Gea story drags on to what looks like a successful a Escape to Madrida conclusion for the Spaniard before September.
In the middle of the park Morgan Schneiderlin will hold his place alongside an insipid Michael Carrick, who after his disheartening display against Brugge will be hoping to do much better. A failure to improve could mean a place for Bastian Schweinsteiger in midfield as he nears complete match-fitness. Up ahead the trio of Memphis Depay, Adnan Januzaj and Juan Mata will continue where they left off last Tuesday – Memphis especially, who is still in search of his first Premier League goal.
In front, the lone striker and Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney will be hoping to prove his critics wrong. It appears as though his first touch is starting to get better, as at display in the Brugge game with that phenomenal back-flick to Memphis from the ball in by Darmian.
Probable XI (4-2-3-1): Romero; Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Shaw; Carrick, Schneiderlin; Memphis, Januzaj, Mata; Rooney.
In the other camp, Steve McClarena s starting XI will certainly see at least one change as Daryl Janmaat remains suspended, owing to his red card against the Swans. After a promising start to the season for the Toons, with Georginio Wijnaldum being the brightest of the new signings when they came back to hold the Saints to a 2-2 draw, the visit to the Liberty Stadium has left the fans ruing their premature judgement.
“A little bit of naivety has cost us, 10 men and your backs are against the wall. We have to dust ourselves down and concentrate on the Manchester United game next week.” McClaren had this to say after the game, the red card clearly irking the former England boss.
Between then and now Newcastle have brought in their fifth signing of the summer, in the form of the highly rated 22-year old winger and long-term target from Marseille, Florian Thauvin. The Frenchman, who signed a 5-year contract with the Magpies this Wednesday, could very well see an immediate introduction into the starting line-up at Old Trafford this week, as Moussa Sissoko remains a huge doubt after he came off with a hamstring injury at half time in the Swans game.
The former Middlesbrough boss should continue with his favoured 4-2-3-1, with almost all of his summer signings taking to the field – the impressive Chancel Mbemba beside Captain Fabricio Colloccini at center-back, the debut goal-scorer Wijnaldum continuing in his unusual no.10 role and Thauvin replacing Sissoko on the right wing.
Now with Janmaat missing at right-back, Massadio Haidara could move in from left-back to cover for the Dutchman as Jack Colback takes his place, thus leaving a hole in the midfield which could see Cheick Tiote back in the squad. With Tim Krul and Papiss Cisse forming the two apexes of the system, both will be itching for a much better game this time around, as McClaren hopes to get that all important first win under his belt – one that would be doubly significant if it were to come against a side of the stature of Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Probable XI (4-2-3-1): Krul; Haidara, Colloccini, Mbemba, Colback; Tiote, Anita, Thauvin, Wijnaldum, Obertan; Cisse.
- Manchester United have won five of their last six Premier League clashes with Newcastle (L1) and have lost just two of their last 25 top-tier encounters with the Magpies (W18 D5).
- Newcastle have only ever enjoyed one Premier League victory at Old Trafford in their 21 visits, with that 1-0 win coming in December 2013 (D7 L13).
- The Red Devils have won 15 of their last 19 Premier League games at Old Trafford
- The Magpies have managed just two goals in total in their last four league encounters with the Red Devils.
- Wayne Rooney has scored 12 goals and assisted seven more in 20 Premier League appearances against Newcastle.
- Rooney has netted only four goals, provided one assist and attempted just 14 shots on target in 20 Premier League games in 2015 so far. In 2014, he scored 16 goals and assisted five more in 28 PL apps.
- Newcastle have lost more Premier League games against Manchester United than any other side (25).
- Morgan Schneiderlin has run further than any other United player in both of their Premier League games so far in 2015-16 (7.7 miles v Spurs, 8.1 miles v Aston Villa)
Manchester United 2 Newcastle United 1
Manchester United under Van Gaal has definitely brought back the fear factor to Old Trafford, as it slowly redeems its earlier status of a The Fortress.a Also United this season have looked much more of a complete squad with the team looking to mount a serious title challenge. And if United are to do so, home games against the likes of the Toons are must-wins.
A win should very well be the result for Van Gaal this weekend, but the Magpies will certainly test the dodgy Argentinian between the sticks, thus bringing to an end Romeroa s over-exemplified run of clean sheets.
Player to watch out for
After the young Dutchmana s incredible display mid-week, the Old Trafford crowd will be expecting something along similar terms as Memphis looks set to score his maiden league goal. The pacey wide-man has some great tricks up his sleeve and if he settles down into this new physical environment that is the English Premier League, the Manchester United faithful are in for a treat this season and many many more to come.
Blast from the past