Newcastle vs Man Utd betting preview
Newcastle United (#10)
The Magpies have struggled to recreate the free-flowing football of last term and their results have suffered as a result. Draws at home to Aston Villa and away at Reading were surely games Alan Pardew thought they could take the 3 points rather than come away with score draws.
Nevertheless a victory over the defensively weak Manchester United will give the Toon Army something to shout about. Hatem Ben Arfa, Jonas Gutierrez and on-form striker Demba Ba are set to return after being rested midweek in the 3-0 win over Bordeaux. If the likes of Gutierrez and Yohan Cabaye can retain possession and feed Ben Arfa, you can expect the Red Devils to be on the back foot for much of the game.
Ba is currently the outright top-scorer in the Premier League so far this season as he looks to improve upon his 16 goals last term. Papiss Cisse is yet to score in the league but has shown promising signs in recent matches and the partnership may just be too much for Manchester United.
Newcastle are short at the back with keeper Tim Krul doubtful and first-choice defensive pairing Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini expected to be out until the end of October. A second consecutive clean sheet here at the Sports Direct Arena is highly unlikely.
Manchester United (#3)
Despite some woeful first-half performances Manchester United have battled through relying on Rafael’s ingenuity against Liverpool and Robin van Persie’s prolific goal-scoring form to give several teams a harsh lesson in concentration. With Sergio Aguero’s injury time Premier League winner still fresh in the memory, Sir Alex Ferguson has made sure his depleted team play for the entire 90 minutes.
Jonny Evans has recovered from a dead leg but the Red Devils are still without Nemanja Vidic, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones in defence and Patrice Evra has hardly dazzled both going forward and at the back. Rio Ferdinand has a point to prove this week after Roy Hodgson branded him “too old” to play for England on the London tube and will want a solid performance.
The good news for United fans is that van Persie and Wayne Rooney are able to play up front together, and to good effect. Both forwards have good a goal-scoring record against the Geordies, Rooney has 9 goals under Ferguson and van Persie has 3 in last 3 outings against them. However this has forced Ferguson to use much narrower tactics with Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia on the sidelines and with Nani hardly on song.
United’s midfield has struggled to get a grip of games all season and which may enforce a defensively minded setup in order to contain Newcastle. This will leave them without a creative spark in midfield, limiting service up front.
This game is critical for United’s season. Despite being third in the table, a poor performance and a poor result in the northeast on Sunday could make or break their season. Both clubs have finished games strongly so expect a goal glut in the last 10 minutes as both teams weakened defences buckle. While United have had an extra day to prepare, Newcastle’s convincing midweek win will give them momentum as they look to kick-start their season.
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