Manchester United will head to St James’ Park on Sunday to try their luck against Newcastle. Apart from an unfortunate hiccup against Tottenham that ended 2-0, United have had a pretty great start to their year.
Newcastle, on the other hand, are just grasping for straws, and a closely knit relegation battle means that their 16th position is definitely in the danger zone. As a result, both teams will be looking to make the most out of the fixture, and it will be a great game to savor.
Here are the lineups the two sides are most likely to use in order to secure the points:
The Red Devils have been in high spirits ever since the arrival of Alexis Sanchez, and their general team-play too, has been phenomenal save a few link-up chinks here and there.
On Sunday, Mourinho and company will be without Marouane Fellaini, whose knee surgery will see him sidelined at least till late March. A similar plight will afflict Eric Bailly.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Daley Blind, however, have resumed training with the first team, and could play their usual integral roles in the matter of a few weeks, if not by tomorrow.
What will be the biggest headache for Mourinho is whom to choose among Rashford and Martial to deploy, if at all. The performances of Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata have been of such quality that the youngsters could very well see another week initially from the bench.
Goalkeeper: David De Gea
Defenders: Shaw, Chris Smalling, Rojo, Valencia
Midfielders: Pogba, Matic
Attackers: Sanchez, Lingard, Mata, Lukaku
Rafa Benitez’s lads have done a fairly decent job of being above the danger-zone, but have struggled at getting goals. Having conceded 36 goals to having found a mere 24, it would be a surprise if they are able to make a sizeable chink in United’s attack.
However, it is interesting to note that Jose Mourinho has never won a Premier League match at the Park, while Manchester United have been the biggest thorn in Newcastle’s side with 92 goals being scored against.
With Joselu and Kenedy bound to make a return for the home game, the Magpies could also see the debut of Leicester City loanee Islam Silmani.
Defenders: Dummett, C. Clark, Lascelles, Yedlin
Midfield: Kenedy, M. Diame, Shelvey, Ritchie, Perez