Manchester United vs Newcastle United: Preview and Prediction

Manchester United will be desperate to return to winning ways when they welcome Newcastle United to Old Trafford on Wednesday.

The penultimate round of the 2023/24 Premier League season will culminate on Wednesday with the third and final match of Double Gameweek 37. Manchester United and Newcastle United will lock horns at Old Trafford, with both teams eager to clinch three points.

Manchester United should have pushed for another season with a top-four spot and one trophy after winning the EFL Cup and finishing third in the Premier League last term. However, the Red Devils have been dreadful throughout the 2023/24 campaign, failing to make their mark in every competition apart from the FA Cup. And the pressure is growing on Erik ten Hag as they stare at missing out on European qualification.

As for Newcastle United, they have turned their fortunes around in the last few weeks after being at risk of missing out on European qualification. While the Tyneside outfit will not return to the UEFA Champions League next term, finishing sixth is in the club’s hands. However, with Chelsea facing the struggling Brighton & Hove Albion on Wednesday, the Magpies cannot afford to slip up.

The reverse fixture ended in a 1-0 win for Eddie Howe’s men, with Anthony Gordon scoring the match-winner. Newcastle United also beat Manchester United 3-0 in the EFL Cup third round. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics

Manchester United

Erik ten Hag has greeted positive updates on the team news front ahead of his side’s latest fixture. Against Newcastle United on Wednesday, the Manchester United manager might be bereft of the services of eight first-team players.

The Dutchman has confirmed the return of Lisandro Martinez, who will be in the matchday squad on Wednesday. In addition, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford should be in contention to feature against Newcastle United.

However, Luke Shaw, Tyrell Malacia, Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane, Victor Lindelof, Mason Mount, Amad Diallo, and Anthony Martial will be unavailable for the midweek fixture. Meanwhile, Andre Onana will take his spot between the sticks, with Manchester United lining up in a 4-2-3-1 formation in front of him against Newcastle United.

The backline should feature Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Willy Kambwala, Jonny Evans, and Diogo Dalot. As for the midfield unit, there is no looking past Casemiro and Kobbie Mainoo. Bruno Fernandes might be fit enough to return, joining Antony, Alejandro Garnacho, and Rasmus Hojlund in the final third.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Onana; Wan-Bissaka, Kambwala, Evans, Dalot; Casemiro, Mainoo; Antony, Fernandes, Garnacho; Hojlund

Newcastle United

Unlike his counterpart in the Manchester United dugout, Eddie Howe has new roster issues hampering his preparations ahead of the trip to St. James’ Park. The Newcastle United manager might be without as many as nine first-team players.

Howe is sweating over the fitness of Alexander Isak and Callum Wilson, with the former recovering from illness and the latter dealing with a thigh injury. Meanwhile, Matt Targett (Achilles), Lewis Miley (back), Joe Willock (calf), Jamaal Lascelles (knee) and Sven Botman (knee) remain on the sidelines. In addition, Sandro Tonali continues to serve his suspension.

Newcastle United will line up in a 4-3-3 formation against Manchester United on Wednesday, with Martin Dubravka taking his spot between the sticks. The backline should feature Kieran Trippier, Emil Kraft, Dan Burn, and Valentino Livramento.

As for the midfield unit, Bruno Guimaraes will hold the fort in the middle of the park while pulling the strings. Elliot Anderson and Sean Longstaff will support the Brazilian international in the central areas. Finally, Isak should shrug off his illness, with Jacob Murphy and Anthony Gordon completing the numbers in the attack.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Dubravka; Trippier, Krafth, Burn, Livramento; Anderson, Guimaraes, Sean Longstaff; Murphy, Isak, Gordon

Key Stats

  • Manchester United have lost just one of their 28 Premier League home games against Newcastle United (W18 D9), going down 1-0 in December 2013 under David Moyes. However, the Magpies have won their last three meetings with Manchester United in all competitions, as many as in their previous 21 (D4 L14).
  • Manchester United have only lost their final home league game in one of the last 16 seasons (W11 D4), going down 2-0 against Cardiff City in 2018/19.
  • Having only won one of their first ten away league games this season (D2 L7), Newcastle United have since won four of their last seven on the road (L3). The Magpies are looking to win successive league matches on the road for just a second time in 2023/24 (also in Jan/Feb).
  • Manchester United have lost nine games at Old Trafford in all competitions this season; they have never suffered ten home defeats in a single season before in their history.
  • 60% of Sean Longstaff’s Premier League goals have been scored this season (6/10), while he has scored in successive appearances in the competition for the first time. Newcastle United have never lost a Premier League match in which Longstaff has found the back of the net (P9 W6 D3 L0).

Player to Watch

Rasmus Hojlund

Embed from Getty Images

The last few weeks have laid bare most of Manchester United’s problems under the tutelage of Erik ten Hag. The worst issue is the team’s over-dependence on Bruno Fernandes, especially with Marcus Rashford blowing hot and cold this season. So, the onus is on Rasmus Hojlund to step up.

The Dane was on top of the world a few weeks ago, becoming the youngest player to score in six successive Premier League games. However, he has found the back of the net only once since returning from a short-term injury layoff. With the FA Cup final around the corner, Hojlund needs to rediscover his best form to help Manchester United end the season on a high.


Manchester United 1-2 Newcastle United

Newcastle United could not have asked for a better time to face Manchester United. While the Red Devils were reasonably impressive against Arsenal, they have lacked imagination in the final third, especially if Bruno Fernandes is not at his best.

Meanwhile, Eddie Howe has managed 14 away Premier League games against Manchester City and Manchester United without winning any (D2 L12). The duck will end on Wednesday, with The Hard Tackle predicting a 2-1 win for Newcastle United. So, Manchester United will suffer a record tenth home defeat this midweek.

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