Manchester United Vs Newcastle United Match Preview (1 Viewer)

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Manchester United will step onto the Old Trafford pitch for the last time this Premier League season, facing fellow European hopefuls Newcastle United on Wednesday evening.

Erik ten Hag's squad is still smarting from a 1-0 defeat to Arsenal on Sunday night. Meanwhile, Newcastle managed to salvage a point in their 1-1 draw against Brighton & Hove Albion. Compared to the humiliating 4-0 loss to Crystal Palace the previous Monday, United's defense held up slightly better against Arsenal, despite ongoing issues.

Unfortunately, United's attacking efforts were easily thwarted by Arsenal's solid defense. A single lapse in concentration by Casemiro, who mistakenly kept Kai Havertz onside, allowed Leandro Trossard to score the winning goal for the Gunners in the first half.

This defeat left Manchester United in a disappointing eighth place, three points behind Newcastle and Chelsea with only two games remaining. Their hopes for a top-seven finish could be dashed if midweek results don't favor them.

Winning the FA Cup final against Manchester City would secure United a Europa League spot, but the club has already decided to cancel their 2023-24 awards dinner due to their dismal performance this season. With 19 losses across all competitions—the most since 1977-78—and 82 goals conceded, their worst in 53 years, United could also set a new low with 10 home losses in a single season if they fall to Newcastle.

On the flip side, Newcastle's hopes for European football next season hang in the balance. However, Eddie Howe's position as manager appears secure for now. Howe led his team to victories over Burnley and Sheffield United before their draw with Brighton.

Newcastle, currently sixth, remain in contention for fifth place, at least until Tottenham Hotspur faces Manchester City on Tuesday. The Magpies are tied on points with Chelsea but hold a slight edge on goal difference following Chelsea's win over Nottingham Forest.

To fall behind United in the standings, Newcastle would need to lose by an improbable 13-goal margin on Wednesday. The Magpies will look to extend their recent dominance over United, having won their last three encounters across all competitions, including two Premier League wins at St James' Park and a 3-0 EFL Cup triumph at Old Trafford.

However, Newcastle hasn't won a Premier League match at Old Trafford since December 2013, back when David Moyes was at the helm for United.

INJURIES & SUSPENSION​

Scott McTominay, Lisandro Martinez, Bruno Fernandes, and Marcus Rashford all returned to full training last week. However, only McTominay made his comeback in the loss to Arsenal. Fernandes and Rashford were late withdrawals, and Martinez is still working on regaining full fitness but looks promising for a return in this match.

Manchester United faced another setback on Sunday when Amad Diallo, who was impressive in his first Premier League start of the season, left the game with a knee issue. Fortunately, he downplayed the severity of his injury and should be ready for Wednesday.

Unfortunately, Tyrell Malacia (knee), Victor Lindelof (thigh), Harry Maguire (muscle), Raphael Varane (muscle), Anthony Martial (groin), Mason Mount (unspecified), and Luke Shaw (thigh) remain sidelined. Fernandes, Rashford, and Willy Kambwala, who has just returned from injury, will need to be assessed before kickoff.

For Newcastle, Alexander Isak was dealing with an illness during the draw with Brighton. First-choice goalkeeper Nick Pope remained on the bench for the second consecutive match after recovering from a shoulder injury. Kieran Trippier made a brief appearance and could start this game.

Callum Wilson missed the weekend's game due to hamstring tightness and is uncertain for the trip to Old Trafford, while Isak has a better chance of being fit. Fabian Schar (thigh) is making good progress, but Eddie Howe hasn't confirmed his availability.

Matt Targett (Achilles), Lewis Miley (back), Joe Willock (calf), Jamaal Lascelles (knee), and Sven Botman (knee) are still out, along with the suspended Sandro Tonali. However, Howe has plenty of strong options up front, including Harvey Barnes, Miguel Almiron, and the fit-again Joelinton.

POSSIBLE LINE-UPS​

Manchester United possible starting lineup:
Onana; Wan-Bissaka, Kambwala, Evans, Dalot; McTominay, Mainoo; Antony, Fernandes, Garnacho; Hojlund

Newcastle United possible starting lineup:
Dubravka; Trippier, Krafth, Burn, Hall; Anderson, Guimaraes, Longstaff; Almiron, Isak, Gordon

EXPERT PREDICTION​

Manchester United 2-2 Newcastle United

Newcastle hasn't had a draw on the road since October, making them an unpredictable and volatile team away from home. In their last seven away matches, they've won four and lost three. Despite their inconsistency, Howe's squad is likely to pose problems for Manchester United's shaky defense.

However, Manchester United showed some promising signs in their recent match against title-chasing Arsenal. Considering Newcastle's defensive absences, we can see the Red Devils managing to secure a respectable point as they play their final home game of the 2023-24 season at Old Trafford.
 

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