Newcastle face a tricky challenge as they welcome old rivals Manchester United to Tyneside on Monday evening.
The Magpies have shown signs of improvement under Eddie Howe but have struggled to turn those positives into points.
For the Red Devils, this will be seen as a big opportunity for three points.
Ralf Rangnick’s team have won three matches in a row in the Premier League and will be hoping that victory can move them a step closer to the top four going into the New Year.
The Premier League clash is set to take place on Monday, December 27 at St James’ Park.
Kick-off is scheduled for 8pm.
Newcastle v Man United: Team news
Newcastle hope to have Javier Manquillo and Emil Krafth available after illness for the visit of Manchester United.
Manquillo missed Sunday’s 4-0 defeat by Manchester City, for which Krafth was an unused substitute, but both are expected to be fully fit.
Jonjo Shelvey, who also sat out at the weekend with groin and hamstring strains, will be assessed, but Jamal Lewis is likely to miss the whole festive programme, joining Federico Fernandez and Paul Dummett on the sidelines.
Manchester United are set to end an enforced 16-day Covid break with only the injured Paul Pogba unavailable.
Raphael Varane and Edinson Cavani could feature for the first time since being injured during a Champions League group game in Atalanta on November 2.
Anthony Martial and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are also expected to be fit after missing United’s last fixture through injury, a 1-0 win at Norwich on December 11.
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Newcastle v Man United: Match facts
- Newcastle have won two of their last four Premier League home games against Manchester United (L2), more than they had in their previous 13 against the Red Devils at St James’ Park (W1 D3 L9). They did lose this exact fixture 4-1 last season, however.
- Manchester United have won their last four Premier League games against Newcastle, their longest such run against them since a run of five between 2004 and 2006.
- Manchester United have scored 112 Premier League goals against Newcastle – no side has scored more against a single opponent in the competition’s history (Arsenal also 112 vs Everton).
- Manchester United have won 10 Premier League games from a losing position against Newcastle – no side has won more from behind against an opponent in the competition’s history (Man Utd also 10 vs Southampton).
- Newcastle have conceded 79 Premier League goals in 2021, the joint-most in a single calendar year in the competition (also Ipswich Town in 1994). The last top-flight team to concede more over the course of a year were West Bromwich Albion in 1985 (87).
- Coming into this round of games, Newcastle have dropped more points from winning positions than any other Premier League side this season (17). It’s their highest such total in a single top-flight campaign since 2019-20, where they dropped 18 across the course of the whole season.
- Manchester United have won both of their two league games so far under Ralf Rangnick 1-0. No manager in the club’s history has kept a clean sheet in each of their first three league games in charge of the Red Devils.
- Only against Aston Villa (8) has Man Utd’s Cristiano Ronaldo scored more Premier League goals than he has against Newcastle (7). His seven goals have come in his last four league appearances against them, including a brace on his return to Manchester United in the reverse fixture this season.
- Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford has been directly involved in seven goals in seven Premier League games against Newcastle, scoring four and assisting three. It’s the most goal involvements he’s had against a single opponent in the competition.
- Last season, Joe Willock was Newcastle’s second highest goalscorer in the Premier League, netting eight goals in 14 games and averaging a goal every 123 minutes. This season, however, the midfielder has failed to score in any of his 16 appearances for the Magpies (1053 minutes).
Eddie Howe has challenged his Newcastle players to make new memories in the club’s rivalry with Man United.
“There are a lot of memories that spring to mind of those games.
Newcastle tended in that period of time to have memorable games against most teams, to be honest, there are stand-out moments that you think back to.
“I can picture some of the goals and some of the scenes in my mind.
It’s up to us to try to recreate those times, the attacking verve, the swagger that that team had, the flare that the individual players possessed, but then the team took that identity over.
“It’s certainly something that we’re desperate to do, but we’re going to need a little bit of time to see that.
At the moment, we’re still progressing and we have to get the defensive side of our game right before we transition into the team that we all want to be.”
On Ralf Rangnick, Howe added:
“I know he’s had a huge influences on some of the Premier League managers that are currently active and successful in the Premier League.
“He’s one of the culture-change managers, I’d say, who has brought in a lot of new ideas that a lot of people have followed, a definite pioneer of the game.
“He’s someone I’ve had a couple of conversations with over the years and someone I highly respect and admire.
“He’ll bring in his own way of playing – I’ve already seen that in the two games that they’ve had – and they’re starting to mirror him and his personality, so I would expect a very tough game.
“I’ve got a lot of resect for Ralf and his work.”