The Red Devils are aiming to re-establish a seven-point lead over Tottenham in second place, but Jose Mourinho says it won’t be easy
Manchester United will attempt to strengthen their hold on second place when they take on Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Sunday.
Jose Mourinho’s side are currently four points clear of third-place Tottenham with a game in hand, so a win will see them extend the gap once more.
Newcastle, on the other hand, are languishing at the other end of the table and Rafa Benitez’s men are desperately seeking points in order to avoid being sucked into a relegation battle.
The Red Devils beat the Magpies 4-1 when they met at Old Trafford last November and Mourinho will demand a repeat as he seeks his first ever league win at the Tyneside venue.
|Game||Newcastle United vs Manchester United|
|Date||Sunday, 11 February|
|Time||14:15 GMT / 09:15 ET|
|Stream (US only)||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
TV Channel & Live Stream
In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial).
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on TV on Sky Sports Premier League and it can be streamed live online using Sky Go.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|Sky Sports Premier League||Sky Go|
Squads & Team News
|Position||Newcastle United players|
|Goalkeepers||Elliot, Dubravka, Darlow|
|Defenders||Clark, Dummett, Lascelles, Mbemba, Manquillo, Lejeune, Yedlin, Haidara, Gamez|
|Midfielders||Murphy, Shelvey, Diame, Ritchie, Hayden, Kenedy, Merino, Atsu|
|Forwards||Gayle, Slimani, Perez, Joselu|
New loan signing Islam Slimani could make his debut for the Magpies, while striker Joselu could also be available for selection. However, Jesus Gamez is still out of action.
Potential Newcastle starting XI: Darlow; Clark, Lascelles, Dummett, Yedlin; Diame, Shelvey, Ritchie, Kenedy, Perez; Gayle.
|Position||Manchester United players|
|Goalkeepers||De Gea, Romero, Joel Castro|
|Defenders||Lindelof, Bailly, Jones, Rojo, Shaw, Valencia, Blind, Darmian, Smalling|
|Midfielders||Pogba, Mata, Lingard, Matic, Herrera, Young, Carrick, Fellaini, McTominay, Gomes|
|Forwards||Sanchez, Lukaku, Ibrahimovic, Martial, Rashford|
Man United have no fresh injury concerns, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic has returned to training and could potentially make the matchday squad. Daley Blind and Eric Bailly remain out of action, while Marouane Fellaini is also on the sidelines.
Potential Man Utd starting XI: De Gea; Valencia, Rojo, Smalling, Shaw; Matic, Pogba, Lingard, Sanchez, Mata; Lukaku.
Betting & Match Odds
Manchester United are 4/6 favourites to win according to dabblebet and Newcastle’s chances are rated at 9/2. Both sides sharing the spoils in a draw is an 11/4 bet.
In the build-up to the game, Man United boss Mourinho was reminded of the fact that he has never won a Premier League game at St James’ Park and he accepted that his side are in for a difficult afternoon against the Magpies.
“Honestly I’ve always felt beautiful matches but difficult matches [there]. I like the stadium, I like the atmosphere. They are a good, enthusiastic crowd,” the Portuguese told reporters. “I like to go there but I couldn’t win. I lost and I drew a few times – I hope the result on Sunday is different. But [Rafael] Benitez knows how to get points, so I think it’s going to be difficult.”
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However, while Mourinho is paying his opposite number some respect, there may not be a better time for him to break the St James’ Park hoodoo. Indeed, the Magpies are at a seriously low ebb, having failed to win a single game in their last five outings, and they have only won three league games out of 13 at home this season.
The Red Devils may have suffered defeat against Tottenham at Wembley two weeks ago, but it was a mere blip on their radar as they returned to winning ways against Huddersfield the following week and they appear to have been boosted significantly by the addition of Alexis Sanchez.
With crunch matches against Huddersfield Town and Sevilla to come in the FA Cup and Champions League, a strong performance and favourable result will serve as the perfect primer, but they will need to be at their best to beat a side that are desperately chasing every point.