TEAM NEWS

Phil Jones, Andreas Pereira and Diogo Dalot will hope for recalls after being left out of the squad in midweek. Ashley Young is back in contention for Manchester United after missing the draw against Valencia because of an unspecified injury.

However, Marcos Rojo, Jesse Lingard and Ander Herrera remain unavailable. Newcastle are again without striker Salomon Rondon, who will not return from a thigh problem until after the international break.

Defenders Paul Dummett and Federico Fernandez are nursing hamstring injuries and will be assessed, while full-back Jamie Sterry is ruled out.

Manchester United vs Newcastle United

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

A definition that holds true apart from, it seems, when the word is prefixed by Manchester or Newcastle. But as civil war reportedly rages between players, management, fans and owners, what else is true is the urgent need for a win.

Manchester United generally DO win at home to Newcastle. Jose Mourinho has ALWAYS won at home to Newcastle, and – forget ‘style’ – this might be a time when the sort of ground-out victory he once specialised in will do.

Rafael Benitez knows how to get those too, and – in the words of a predecessor – would ‘love it’ should the Magpies win. For all the home side’s current torments, that remains the outside bet.

VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho on Newcastle: “Very, very, very good coach, a team that is always very well organised against especially the teams of the first part of the table, where their manager is very bright on his analysis of the opponent’s qualities.

“The results they had against the top teams didn’t get them points yet this season but gave them very, very close results and [were] very difficult matches for the opposition, so we expect a difficult match.”

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez: “In all my time in England, I don’t remember any fragile Manchester United team.

“All of them have been really strong every year with good managers, good players, so I don’t see any fragile Manchester United team.

“I can see a team that everyone was expecting to be higher, but it’s a question of time, like us. Who is at the top of the table in the Premier League? The three teams who spent more money than anyone.

“Who is at the bottom of the table? Teams that didn’t spend so much money. That is a normal situation.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

This game goes is going to be about whether Manchester United can break Newcastle down.

The Magpies have had a terrible start to the season and, however their manager organises his players, I cannot see them really having much joy on the counter-attack.

Prediction: 2-0

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Manchester United have lost one of their last 36 home matches against Newcastle in all competitions (W26, D9), with that solitary loss coming in December 2013 during David Moyes’ tenure.
  • The Magpies beat the Reds 1-0 at St James’ Park in February, and could record back-to-back league wins against them for the first time since 1972.
  • Newcastle have lost seven Premier League matches when scoring first against Manchester United, one short of the record for one team against another.

Manchester United

  • Manchester United have 10 points from their opening seven games, equalling their lowest total at this stage of a Premier League campaign – set under David Moyes in 2013-14.
  • When goal difference is considered, it is their worst top-flight start since 1989, when they had seven points after seven games.
  • They have kept just one clean sheet and conceded 12 goals – the only Premier League season in which they had a worst record at this point was in 2001-02.
  • United are one short of becoming the fourth club to score 100 Premier League penalties, following Liverpool (114), Chelsea (113) and Arsenal (103).
  • Romelu Lukaku has had a hand in 10 goals in 10 Premier League appearances against Newcastle, scoring six and assisting four.

Newcastle United

  • Newcastle are winless in seven league games this season – only in 1898-99 (10 matches) and 2015-16 (eight games) have they waited longer for their first victory in a top-flight campaign.
  • They have attempted just 52 shots in this season’s Premier League, the lowest figure in the division, while their record of 18 efforts on target is the joint-lowest tally.
  • The Magpies are winless in seven games (six in the league) since beating Leicester in April.
  • This will be their fifth game of the season against one of the established top-six sides. All four previous matches ended in 2-1 defeats.
  • Rafael Benitez has won six of his last nine matches against Manchester United in all competitions. He can become the first manager to win Premier League fixtures at Old Trafford with three different clubs.
  • Benitez has won six competitive games as a manager against Mourinho – only Pep Guardiola, with nine, has a better record.

Source: BBC News