We hope for a Christmas cracker rather than a cold turkey on Boxing Day, as Manchester United host Newcastle United in the early evening kick-off. Only the home team’s superior goal difference separates the sides, who are eighth and ninth in the Premier League table ahead of this fixture.
Where and when: Old Trafford – 26 December, kick-off 17:30
Where you can see Manchester United vs. Newcastle: Amazon Prime
Last time: Matty Longstaff enjoyed a Roy of the Rovers debut in October, as the Newcastle youngster scored the winning goal for his team in a 1-0 triumph at St James’ Park.
Manchester United v Newcastle Predictions and Preview
This fixture is no longer the draw it once was, but this Boxing Day clash is an intriguing proposition for reasons other than title-deciding drama. Manchester United seem constantly vulnerable at the moment as two steps back always follow one forward, while Newcastle United are riding high despite the doom and gloom that followed Steve Bruce into St James’ Park.
The Magpies already have 25 points to their name and are closer to the Champions League places than the relegation zone as we reach the halfway stage of the season. Miguel Almiron finally broke his scoring duck to hand his team a late winner against Crystal Palace at the weekend, taking Newcastle to their third victory in four.
United meanwhile have only won two of their last six in the Premier League. That was the pair of impressive back-to-back victories over Tottenham and Manchester City, but the Red Devils have struggled against the lesser sides all season. Two of United’s only other two wins this term came against Chelsea and Leicester, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have failed to win five of their nine matches at home.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
Almiron to score first
Newcastle to win 1-0
Draw/Man United half-time/full-time
United have only won once this season when having more than 50% possession, drawing six and losing five, with one of those losses coming against Newcastle. This shows their struggles when teams let them have the ball, which the Magpies will do once again here. With that in mind, the home win might not appear to be the best value considering United are odds-on at 4/11.
The hosts are at least enjoying the return of a number of players, none more crucial than Paul Pogba who looked good on his appearance off the bench in Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at Watford. Only back-up defenders Eric Bailly, Marcos Rojo and Timothy Fosu-Mensah are expected to miss this game.
Newcastle meanwhile could be without as many as seven players due to injury. Allan Saint-Maximin, Matt Ritchie and Jamaal Lascelles are all out until the new year, while Ciaran Clark is also expected to miss out. Ki Sung-yeung, Jetro Willems and Paul Dummett all face late fitness tests. Those injury problems could make the visitors a little less attractive at 19/2, but the draw could be interesting at 87/20.
One to watch for Manchester United: Pogba showed some lovely touches and his range of passing when he came off the bench at Vicarage Road last weekend. The Frenchman may well be in the shop window, and he is 13/2 to impress any potential suitors by scoring the opening goal of this game.
One to watch for Newcastle: Ever heard that one about waiting for a bus and two coming along at once? The travelling Newcastle fans will be hoping Almiron can inspire those sentiments by breaking the deadlock for the second game in a row, which he is 22/1 to do.
Long shot: Manchester United have struggled all season against teams who sit back and allow them the ball, denying them the space to counter into. If they struggle to break Newcastle down then the visitors could be on for a repeat of their 1-0 victory from earlier this season, which is priced at 25/1.