United resume their Premier League campaign with an enthralling fixture with high-flying Newcastle United. The Geordies are the surprise package this season having climbed t third and Alan Pardew is to be commended on the job he has done. However, football is a fickle game and after losing last week, to Manchester City, Sir Alex Ferguson will have no qualms about inflicting a second successive defeat on the side from the Tyne.
This Saturday will see the return of Danny Simpson to Old Trafford. Simpson was a United player once but moved, on loan initially, to St James Park (or the Sports Direct Arena as it is known now) two years ago.
Talking about returning Simpson has remarked ahead of the game,
“I always have something to prove to Sir Alex.”
“I`m a United fan. I had a good time there but I`m part of a good Newcastle team now.”
“I go back to Old Trafford looking to play well and prove a point.”
Let`s hope that Simpson doesn`t join a long list of players who have scored against their former clubs!
United Team News:
The injury problems are mounting up for Sir Alex Ferguson. Although having missed the midweek action against Benfica, it is expected that Wayne Rooney will return.
Unfortunately the same cannot be said of our midfield duo of Tom Cleverley and Anderson. The former is out until Christmas and the latter until next February.
Another missing is Michael Owen whilst Sir Alex will be looking for Danny Welbeck to shake off the muscle injury he received on international duty.
Player to watch: David De Gea
After so long without a wobble, our young Spanish keeper had a role in the calamitous second goal scored by Benfica in midweek. Hopefully, against Newcastle, he`ll not be tested and will have an easy afternoon, if not, then Anders Lindegaard could be sat on the United bench with a big smile on his face, even though keepers are mean tot be a unique breed.
Newcaslte Team News:
Alan Pardew, bringing his high-flying side to Old Trafford, should have available for selection again, both Chieck Tiote, who has recovered from a knee injury and his striker Leon Best who has overcome a groin injury.
An ex-United player who never really shone whilst here, Gabriel Obertan, will be hoping that he can earn selection now that he too is fit again.
Player to watch: Cheik Tiote
Picks up a plethora of yellow cards throughout the season but his contribution to the Newcastle cause is immense, which is why so many other teams have been eyeing up a move for the midfielder.
Match Facts & Stats
The form book favours Manchester united when it comes to clashed between these two sides at Old Trafford. Newcastle have not won at our place since February 1972.
The last six Premier League games between the two sides at Old Trafford have seen United win five and draw one, that stain on a perfect record being a 1-1 draw on the opening day of the 2008/2009 season.
Until last week Newcastle, under the leadership of Alan Pardew, were one of the two unbeaten teams in the Premier League. A defeat to our noisy neighbours (Manchester City) blew that record away and led to the question that, perhaps, Newcastle in going unbeaten hadn`t really encountered anyone of any significance. If we are to keep the pressure up on Manchester City, then this is a fixture we must win and I reckon we will, by at least two clear goals, providing we can keep that defence tight!
Next up in the Premier League is a clash with Aston Villa, at Villa Park. Before that we`ve the small matter, in midweek, of a Carling Cup Quarter-Final tie with Crystal Palace.