Manchester United will face Newcastle United at Old Trafford in a couple of hours with speculations regarding Jose Mourinho’s future at an all-time high. They are winless in the last four matches and the pressure is building on the team and Mourinho after a streak of underwhelming results. United were defeated by the Magpies in their previous meeting at the St James Park. However, United had defeated them 4-1 at Old Trafford last season.
The manager confirmed in the press conference that Ashley Young is fit to return to the squad. However, Ander Herrera, Jesse Lingard and Marcos Rojo remain absent due to their respective injuries.
PREDICTED MANCHESTER UNITED LINEUP TO FACE NEWCASTLE UNITED
David de Gea will start between the posts for United.
Antonio Valencia was downright disappointing against Valencia in the Champions League and is likely to be dropped.
Diogo Dalot and Luke Shaw could play as the two fullbacks in the four-man backline. Dalot had delivered the assist for Marouane Fellaini’s injury-time equalizer against Derby County a couple of weeks ago. Young is also in contention but Jose might take a slight risk and give Dalot his first start in the league. Shaw, meanwhile, provided two key passes against Valencia and was one of the better players on the field.
Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly were quite impressive in their Champions League encounter together too. Smalling cleared the ball four times and Bailly did so on seven occasions. Bailly has been in and out of the team and needs a run of games now.
Jose should go with his strongest midfield options in this pressure match and hence we might see the trio of Nemanja Matic, Fred and Paul Pogba all start.
Pogba played four key passes and will be keen to play a pivotal role today. Fred brings creativity to the midfield while Matic has to improve on his displays shielding the backline and anchoring the team.
Romelu Lukaku has been disappointing in the last few weeks. He has failed to finish off easy chances but remains United’s best bet up front.
Alexis Sanchez was poor once again and Anthony Martial seems to have displaced him as the first choice on the left wing. Juan Mata and Marcus Rashford are in contention for a start on the right but Jose might reward Rashford for his display against Valencia.
Stats Courtesy: Whoscored