Manchester United will be looking to get back to winning ways when they face Newcastle United on Boxing Day.
The Red Devils were humbled by bottom of the table Watford last weekend, losing 2-0 at Vicarage Road, and dropped to eighth place – seven points behind the last Champions League spot.
They are joined on 25 points by Newcastle who got their third win in five games last time out with a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace, courtesy of Miguel Almiron’s first goal for the club.
Newcastle enjoyed victory in the previous meeting between these two sides this season and Steve Bruce will be looking to complete the double over his former side for the first time – having never previously beaten Man Utd before 2019/20.
Read on for our Man Utd vs Newcastle preview, team news, TV coverage information and more.
When is Man Utd vs Newcastle and where can I watch live?
Competition: Premier League
Venue: Old Trafford
Date: Thursday, 26 December 2019
Kick-off: 5:30 PM (UK time)
TV coverage (UK): The game is not available on traditional TV but can be live-streamed on Amazon Prime.
Last five meetings: Man Utd vs Newcastle
06 October 2019: Newcastle 1-0 Man Utd (Premier League)
02 January 2019: Newcastle 0-2 Man Utd (Premier League)
06 October 2018: Man Utd 3-2 Newcastle (Premier League)
11 February 2018: Newcastle 1-0 Man Utd (Premier League)
18 November 2017: Man Utd 4-1 Newcastle (Premier League)
Aggregate Score: Man Utd (LWWLW) 9-5 Newcastle (WLLWL)
Ones to watch
Man Utd: Paul Pogba
Perhaps the only positive from Man Utd‘s defeat to Watford on Sunday was the return of Paul Pogba.
The Frenchman had been out since the end of September with an ankle injury and made a 26-minute substitute appearance at Vicarage Road. His arrival brought a positive change for Man Utd, as noted by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
He said: “He gave us that little bit of edge, quality and urgency. The last half-an-hour when Paul came on, that was probably the only plus today.
“He played some great passes over the top, he had some nice combinations and he had a chance himself.”
With Man Utd potentially needing that something special to break down a Newcastle side on a decent run, Pogba could get his first start since the 1-1 draw with Arsenal on September 30.
Key stat: Paul Pogba has created 2.65 chances per 90 minutes in the Premier League this season, a better average than any other Man Utd player.
Newcastle: Miguel Almiron
Undeniably the personal story of Premier League Gameweek 18 was Miguel Almiron finally breaking his Newcastle duck. Since joining in January — becoming Newcastle’s record signing in the process — Almiron had struggled in front of goal.
This wasn’t due to a lack of trying, with the Paraguayan positive in attack and always looking to push himself forward. But luck just wasn’t on his side.
His performances in recent weeks have improved massively and it felt like a goal was coming, as it did against Crystal Palace. Surely his confidence will only grow from here and Almiron may feel like Man Utd‘s defence is there for the taking. David de Gea certainly doesn’t look assured at present.
Key stat: Miguel Almiron scored his first goal in 27 games for Newcastle against Crystal Palace last weekend.
Man Utd definitely remain without Eric Bailly and Timothy Fosu-Mensah due to injuries, while Diogo Dalot and Marcos Rojo are doubts. Pogba could return to the starting line up after a positive cameo against Watford, with Jesse Lingard potentially set to drop out as his search for a goal or assist goes on.
Otherwise, Solskjaer may stick to a similar XI with options looking thin beyond his favoured team.
Predicted XI: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka; Lindelof, Maguire, Young; Fred, McTominay; James, Pogba, Rashford; Martial.
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Andy Carroll looks likely to drop down to the bench after a run of starts, with Bruce trying to manage his fitness issues ahead of a busy period of games. This could mean a return to a one-man strike force with Joelinton leading the line or a rare start for one of Dwight Gayle or Yoshinori Muto.
Paul Dummett is an injury concern and could join the likes of Allan Saint-Maximin, Matt Ritchie, Jamaal Lascelles and Ciaran Clark on the sidelines. Ki Sung-yeung and Jetro Willems are also doubts.
Predicted XI: Dubravka; Manquillo, Lejeune, Fernandez, Schar, Willems; Atsu, Hayden, Shelvey, Almiron; Joelinton.
Odds (via Betway)
Man Utd to win: 4/11
Newcastle to win: 7/1
(Odds correct as of 26/12/2019 at 11:00)
Click here for full details of Betway’s Premier League markets.
When these sides faced off in the first meeting of the season, Newcastle were 19th and had won just five points from their opening seven games while Man Utd were 10th with nine points.
While many would have expected Man Utd to recover, even after the defeat, they now sit level on points with Newcastle and are only ahead on goal difference. This is possibly the lowest Man Utd have felt as a club this season after succumbing to defeat at Watford while Newcastle finally have the bit between their teeth after a sluggish start under Bruce.
The Magpies will have been boosted by Almiron’s first goal, which proved to be a winner, and are a good shout to leave Old Trafford with at least a point.