Preview - Newcastle United vs Manchester United Feb 11 2018

Started by Harry85, Feb 10, 2018, 02:00 AM

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Harry85

Match Day 27
Newcastle United vs. Manchester United
Sunday, February 11th, 2018
22:15 pm (GMT+8 Timing)
Stadium: St James Park

Newcastle United:
Last five matches form: D D L D W
Average goals per match: 0.9
Average goals against per match: 1.4
Top Scorer: Joselu (4)

Manchester United:
Last five matches form: W L W W W
Average goals per match: 2.0
Average goals against per match: 0.7
Top Scorer: Romelu Lukaku (12)

With Manchester City seemingly out of site in the race for the Premier League, Manchester United travel to Tyneside aiming to make their position in the top four that bit more secure. For Newcastle the aim is to pick up something in an effort to keep out of the bottom three.

There are plenty of worse sides than Newcastle in the league, but it is up front where there problems lie, as they simply don't have enough goals in the side. Islam Slimani will hopefully add some much needed power and finishing quality, but he looks like facing a late fitness test to determine whether he is able to make his debut against the Red Devils.

Rafa Benitez tactic when facing the top sides whether at home or away has been to stack the defence and get as many players behind the ball as possible. This stifling approach very nearly worked against Manchester City, with just a sole Sergio Ag├╝ero strike separating the sides at St. James. How this match pans out may ultimately depend upon whether Manchester United are able to secure an early breakthrough.

There seems to have been an overreaction to Manchester United's defeat against an excellent Tottenham Hotspur side, and whilst they are never going to be as spectacular as Manchester City - not this season anyway - their recent form has been solid enough, with six wins and three draws in their past ten league outings.

Newcastle haven't won at home in the League since October, and it seems doubtful that this will be the match to end that run. They are however tough to break down. Ultimately though we see the visitors doing just enough.

Prediction: Newcastle United 0-2 Manchester United

Harry85

Half time: 0 - 0
Full time: 1 - 0
Shots: 10 -13
Shots on target: 3 - 6
Corner Kicks:  0 - 10
Possession: 36% - 64%

Chris Smalling and Antonio Valencia were booked for the visitors whilst the home side avoided the wrath of the referee.

The pressure was certainly on Newcastle United headed into this afternoons fixture, with Huddersfield's earlier thumping of Bournemouth having relegated the Magpies into the relegation zone.
The home side certainly came out with intent. David de Gea showing why is one of the best in the world when stopping a Jonjo Shelvey piledriver in just the fifth minute. From there on in though the visitors slowly but surely found their footing in the game, dominating possession throughout.
Rafa Benitez'z men had debutante goalkeeper Martin Dubravka to thank for maintaining parity headed into the break, with the Slovakian denying Antony Martial in a one on one confrontation. Newcastle really should have had a penalty though when Chris Smalling tripped Dwight Gayle in the corner of the box, but the foul was totally missed by the officials.
The pattern of play in the second half continued to favour the visitors, with Romelu Lukaku having a goal ruled out for a push, Alexis Sanchez firing into the side netting and Florian Lejeune producing a last ditch block.
It was in the 65th minute when the crucial moment of the game came. Jonjo Shelvey's floated free kick being knocked back to Matt Ritchie who powerfully side-footed into the bottom corner to send Tyneside into raptures.
There was still time for some heroic defending from Newcastle to twice block Martial efforts from point blank range. This may not have been pretty at times from the black and white's but it was certainly committed and the importance of this result is hard to overstate.
Newcastle move up to 13th, but still only two points clear of the bottom three. Manchester United remain in second, 16 points adrift of big rivals Manchester City.

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