Newcastle United had a poor summer transfer window, as Joe Willock was the only major signing arriving from Arsenal for £25 million. To add to their woes, they have fared poorly on the pitch, collecting just one point from three Premier League games.
News that Cristiano Ronaldo should be available on September 11 will make Manchester United heavy favourites against Steve Bruce’s Newcastle United side.
The odds are stacked against the Magpies to come away from Old Trafford with anything at all against a strong Manchester United side. The Red Devils have started the new campaign brightly.
Thus, Bruce will need to pull a rabbit out of the hat to get a positive result against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side. That being said, here are three Newcastle players who must step up against Manchester United.
3 Newcastle players who must step up against Manchester United
#3 Freddie Woodman
Freddie Woodman has started the season in goal for Newcastle United, making his dream Premier League debut for his boyhood club last month. He has played three games, conceding eight goals as things stand.
At 24, Woodman is relatively young for a goalkeeper but doesn’t lack confidence or seems burdened with the lofty expectations from the club as well as the fans.
Having conceded eight goals and failed to keep a clean sheet in the opening three games, he’ll have to step up and be counted at Old Trafford to help Newcastle United pull off a shock upset.
In the past, we’ve seen the likes of Tim Krul and Martin Dubravka putting in stellar displays in goal against Manchester United. Woodman will need to replicate a bit of that.
#2 Jamaal Lascelles
Jamaal Lascelles’ stock has tumbled in recent years due to a combination of injury problems, chronic lack of fitness and inconsistency. And the central defender hasn’t looked at his best in the two games he’s featured in the new season.
Being Newcastle’s skipper, Lascelles, 27, will have to marshal his troops well against a Manchester United attack that will likely be spearheaded by Cristiano Ronaldo.
Considering the sorry state of the Magpies’ defence, expectations will be high on the shoulders of the English centre-half.
#1 Allan Saint-Maximin
Allan Saint-Maximin has enjoyed a decent personal start to the new season, bagging a goal and an assist from three games.
One of the trickiest players for a defender to come up against in the Premier League, the Frenchman, 24, scored last time out when the two sides met at Old Trafford in February.
The game ended 3-1 in Manchester United’s favour but Saint-Maximin was one of the rare bright sparks for Newcastle United on the night.
For a Newcastle side low on morale and confidence, Saint-Maximin should look to lead from the front by putting in an inspired display against the Red Devils. Certainly, their chances to pull off an upset will be higher if the flashy French winger dazzles at Old Trafford.