Newcastle perspective: Mark Jensen, The Mag.
Strikers aside, Newcastle have struggled with injuries throughout the team. Thankfully, the central midfield duo of Cheik Tiote and Yohan Cabaye are reunited and are, ahem, central to our ambitions. Danny Simpson is fit again to face his old club while everybody is sweating on whether Fabio Coloccini is fit to play in defence. With only one fit goalkeeper, though, Alan Pardew will be keeping everything crossed.
Only Chelsea have got the better of Newcastle in the league, but the team have struggled to dominate possession. We've thus been left to grind out wins and draws, and rely on moments of brilliance from Ba and Ben Arfa. The best performance so far came against Bordeaux on Thursday in the Europa League; a lot more things clicked and there's no surprise that it coincided with the Tiote/Cabaye partnership at the heart of it.
It took Newcastle ten years to register a win against Manchester United but that 3-0 classic in January came on the back of home and away draws. Manchester United’s recent Capital One Cup win didn’t really tell anybody anything, with so many first team players missing from both sides.
Yohan Cabaye to score first at 16.00. The Frenchman got forward to put in a few shots in midweek and I think he is good value for first goal. A repeat of his free-kick in last year’s fixture would do nicely.
Draw/Newcastle HT/FT at 9.75. With Newcastle generally looking a better team in the second half of matches, I think there is outstanding value here.
Patrice Evra to get a card at 4.75. Ben Arfa has hit the ground running this season and his trickery will be essential. Evra is hopefully in for a long shift against his compatriot and the odds for the full-back to get a card are impossible to ignore.
Newcastle 2-0 Manchester United (22.00)
Man United perspective: Chudi Onwuazor, The Busby Way.
Scott Wootton may find himself facing Newcastle again having taken them on in the League Cup last week, after Jonny Evans picked up a knock against Cluj. Beyond that, Manchester United face no new injury concerns and may even welcome Antonio Valenciam who missed the Tottenham game. Chris Smalling has an outside chance of making the bench.
Things just aren’t clicking for United at the moment and slow starts are proving costly. Against Liverpool we can count ourselves lucky to have taken the three points but there was no such luck against Tottenham where we conceded two in a poor first half, nullifying an excellent second half showing and we found ourselves on the wrong end of a 3-2 scoreline. But we can take heart from our second half performance against Spurs. If we can perform like that rather than the way we did in the first half, we will be fine.
Newcastle took four points from United last season, and in this fixture were well worth their 3-0 win as United limped into the Sports Direct stadium off the back of a home defeat. Sound familiar? But of our last four visits that was our only defeat, having won two and draw the others.
Demba Ba to score first at 7.50. Ba opened the scoring against us last season, and with our recent penchant for conceding first and early, he is a good price to bag first.
Wayne Rooney to score at 2.50. The striker has been laying on the goals recently, setting up Nani against Spurs and two for RVP against Cluj. Rooney likes playing Newcastle, so back him to score his first of the season.
Over 3.5 goals at 2.90. Whilst United may have a leaky defence, we can score them too. Newcastle may be missing some key defensive names so this is a good price.
Newcastle 2-2 Manchester United (12.50)