Newcastle vs Manchester United: Line-ups
A Draw is on the Cards
With no wins from five games between February and the beginning of March, the Magpies were not feeling the love during the Valentine’s period, but Eddie Howe’s crop scooped a pair of 2-1 victories over Wolverhampton Wanderers and Nottingham Forest to reignite their glimmer of hope.
From a team that kept clean sheets for fun to one that have conceded in their last eight matches in all competitions, Newcastle are not the defensive force that they once were during the earlier stages of the campaign, and only two of their last five Premier League home games have ended in victory.
However, only Liverpool have got the better of Howe’s men on their own turf this term – and even then the 10 men of Newcastle gave the Reds quite the run for their money – so Man United must still have their wits about them against a Magpies side with an overriding desire for vengeance.
Dreams of a quadruple are surely too far-fetched for Man United, who played just twice in the Premier League in March – that 7-0 humiliation to Liverpool and goalless draw with Southampton – leaving them safely on the final podium spot and one point clear of Tottenham, who have played two games more.
Tears streamed down the faces of Newcastle players and fans as Man United ended their six-year trophy drought with a 2-0 win in February’s EFL Cup final, and the Magpies are winless in their last six Premier League showdowns with their Manchester counterparts, but they came away from Old Trafford with a creditable point in a goalless stalemate back in October.
Man United may have put Newcastle to the sword at Wembley with ease, but the absence of Casemiro and a distinct lack of midfield depth should mean that lightning does not strike twice for Howe’s Champions League-chasers. With the Magpies seldom suffering defeat in front of their own fans nowadays, a closely-fought draw could be on the cards – a result which neither manager will be overly satisfied with.