When and where: The Barclays Premier League match kicks-off from the Sports Direct Arena at 11 a.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by the Fox Soccer Channel, with a delayed online stream available via FoxSoccer2Go. Those in the U.K. will be able to watch a live stream on Sky Player.
Reuters Manchester United will hope for new signing Robin van Persie to continue his impressive scoring streak, against Newcastle.
Manchester United will hope for new signing Robin van Persie to continue his impressive scoring streak, against Newcastle.
Preview: Manchester United head into Sunday’s clash with Newcastle with arguably more question marks over their side than there have been in several seasons. Despite an onslaught late on, United were cut apart by Tottenham last Saturday in a way that few teams have done at Old Trafford in Sir Alex Ferguson’s time in charge.
Even in victory in the Champions League at CFR Cluj on Tuesday, United went behind after their defense was carved open. While the center of midfield lacks dynamism and the defensive quality of the full-backs is severely in doubt, United’s injury crisis in the center of defense continues.
Chris Smalling still looks to be a couple of weeks away from a return, while Nemanja Vidic and Phil Jones are still some way off fitness. A glimmer of light is provided by the fact that Jonny Evans will be fit after going off with a dead leg in Romania.
Ryan Giggs and Michael Carrick have recovered from their virus, while Paul Scholes is also available again after being rested in midweek. However, Ferguson must surely be thinking long and hard about his midfield selection after including all three against Tottenham and seeing their lack of pace so crudely exposed.
Ferguson would also be wise to recall the corresponding fixture with Newcastle last season, when the Magpies dominated United to record a 3-0 victory. There may be a temptation to include Brazilian Anderson who impressed and scored when the sides met in the League Cup less than two weeks ago.
Newcastle have so far failed to reach the heights they achieved during their exceptional performance last season. After being handed an incredible eight-year contract manager Alan Pardew is said to have read his player’s the riot act, according to goalkeeper Steve Harper, following their 2-2 draw with Reading last Saturday.
The move seems to have initially had the desired effect as Newcastle beat Bordeaux 3-0 in the Europa League on Thursday. Newcastle should have Steven Taylor back against United, but his regular partner Fabricio Coloccini may still be sidelined alongside goalkeeper Tim Krul.
D: Simpson, Williamson, Taylor, Santon
M: Ben Arfa, Tiote, Cabaye, Gutierrez
F: Cisse, Ba
D: Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra
M: Carrick, Scholes
Valencia, Rooney, Kagawa
F: Van Persie
Prediction: It is hard not to envisage goals in this match. Both sides are top loaded with ample quality going forward coupled with weaknesses exasperated by injuries defensively. The identity of the victor could well come down to which side gets control of the midfield. With Cheick Tiote in there, Newcastle will hope it is a battle they can win as they did last season.
United will be desperate for a victory, but by the end they may be relieved to emerge with a draw.
Newcastle 2-2 Manchester United
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