Cristiano Ronaldo Credit: Getty
Manchester United will travel to Newcastle United’s St James Park on Monday (27 December) in the Premier League, with the Red Devils hoping to continue their undefeated run under interim manager Ralf Rangnick.
The match, which kicks-off at 8pm, will see United look to secure their third league win with the German at the helm, after beating Norwich City and Crystal Palace 1-0.
Rangnick’s side have suffered postponements in their last two league fixtures due to positive Covid-19 cases within their backroom and playing staff.
This week the club returned to staggered training. Marcus Rashford provided an update on this.
“We’ve pretty much got the full squad back, which is a positive going into the week,” the forward told the Red Devils’ new bulletin, United Daily.
As for the visitors, they have one league win all season, this coming on 4 December against Burnley. Their last three games have ended in defeat, most recently a 4-0 loss to Manchester City.
The sides head into the clash 17 points apart in the Premier League, with the visitors sixth in the table, while Newcastle sit 19th.
Overall, the Red Devils have significantly more wins over their Tyne and Wear opposition. Of the 53 meetings in the Premier League, United have won 32 of them, while the Magpies have secured seven victories, and honours have been even on 14 occasions.
The last time these two teams met in the competition it ended 4-1 to the Red Devils at Old Trafford in September. Cristiano Ronaldo scored a double that day with Bruno Fernandes and Jesse Lingard also on the scoresheet.
What’s the latest team news?
United are expected to have a strong squad available for the game in the North East. They are likely to be without Victor Lindelof, who is being monitored after he suffered breathing difficulties against Norwich, forcing him to be substituted for Eric Bailly in the 74th minute.
Other notable absentees from previous matches are Anthony Martial, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba and Aaron Wan-Bissaka. A return date for each player has not been confirmed but Rangnick said in a press conference on Thursday that Varane and Cavani are expected to be back in contention .
If Matic and Pogba remain out, Rangnick has multiple options to choose from, with the German expected to start the central-midfield partnership of Scott McTominay and Fred, especially after the latter’s solid performance under his new boss.
In the previous two league fixtures, Rangnick has opted for his favoured 4-2-2-2 formation, with Bruno Fernandes and Jadon Sancho starting as two number 10s, while Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford played up top.
The hosts made several changes to their starting 11 in their defeat to City, with Javier Manquillo, Fabian Schar, Jamal Lewis, Jonjo Shelvey and Allan Saint-Maximin being replaced by Ciaran Clark, Callum Wilson, Miguel Almiron, Joe Willock and Matt Ritchie.
The latter came in for Lewis, who suffered a thigh injury after their loss to Liverpool, while Paul Dummett is still unavailable due to a calf injury and Federico Fernandez has a knock - all of whom will miss Monday’s fixture, as confirmed by Eddie Howe in his press conference on Thursday.
Howe also mentioned that he is hopeful Manquillo and Emil Krafth could be back in contention after illness.
Manchester United (4-2-2-2): De Gea; Dalot, Bailly, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Fred, Fernandes; Sancho, Ronaldo, Greenwood.
Newcastle (4-5-1): Dubravka; Murphy, Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie; Saint-Maximin, Willock, Hayden, Joelinton, Fraser; Wilson.
Is the match on TV?
The match will be shown live in the UK on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event, with pre-match coverage starting at 7pm on the former channel. Alternatively, Sky customers can stream the game live on the Sky Sport app.
How can I watch highlights?
The Sky Sports YouTube channel is the best place to view the main moments from the game, and both United and Newcastle’s websites will have the highlights after the game ends.
And log onto Manchester World for full match coverage plus player ratings on the final whistle.