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Premier League

  • 7 October 2012
  • • 16:00
  • • St. James' Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
  • Referee: H. Webb
  • • Attendance: 52203

Newcastle - Manchester United Preview: Magpies looking to go four games unbeaten against the Red Devils

Sir Alex Ferguson's side lost 3-0 on their last visit to Tyneside but came out on top in their League Cup encounter last week, while both sides registered midweek European wins



Simpson, Perch, Williamson, Santon
Ben Arfa, Tiote, Cabaye, Gutierrez
Cisse, Ba


De Gea
Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra
Carrick, Scholes
Nani, Rooney, Kagawa
Van Persie

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew is facing a defensive crisis ahead of Sunday’s game, with Steven Taylor (calf) unavailable and Fabricio Coloccini (thigh) also a doubt.

Danny Simpson is pushing to shrug off a hamstring injury to return to the side, meaning James Perch could fill in at centre-back, while midfielder Yohan Cabaye is set to make a comeback from a mouth infection.

Meanwhile, the game may come too soon for Tim Krul (elbow), and Ryan Taylor (knee) is a long-term absentee for the Magpies.

Sir Alex Ferguson is still without defenders Phil Jones and Nemanja Vidic (both knee), but Chris Smalling (foot) could make a comeback to the Manchester United squad.

Antonio Valencia (foot) and Ashley Young (knee) remain sidelined, while Darren Fletcher (stomach) could make a first Premier League appearance after coming back from a 10-month absence against CFR Cluj in midweek.

  • Newcastle's 3-0 win over Sir Alex’s side last season was their first over the Red Devils in 20 matches in all competitions; their previous victory was a 4-3 thriller in September 2001.
  • However, if the Magpies avoid defeat it will be the first time since 1989 they have gone four games unbeaten in the league against the Red Devils.
  • A massive 88 per cent of Newcastle's goals have come in the second half; the highest proportion of any team in the league.
  • Demba Ba has made two Premier League appearances against Manchester United, and scored in both.
  • Manchester United have gone behind in five of their six Premier League games this season.
  • Both Paul Scholes (nine) and Wayne Rooney (10) have scored more goals against Newcastle than when facing any other Premier League club.
  • In his last five starts against Newcastle, Robin van Persie has scored five times.


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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
22Stephen HarperGoalkeeper
3Davide SantonDefender
6Mike WilliamsonDefender
14James PerchMidfielder
31Shane FergusonDefender
6Yohan CabayeMidfielder
10Hatem Ben ArfaMidfielder
15Jonas GutierrezMidfielder
24Cheikh TioteMidfielder
9Papiss CisséStriker
9Demba BaStriker
42Jak AlnwickGoalkeeper
25Danny SimpsonDefender
8Vurnon AnitaDefender
20Gael BigirimanaMidfielder
25Gabriel ObertanStriker
28Sammy AmeobiStriker
23Shola AmeobiStriker
1David de GeaGoalkeeper
3Patrice EvraDefender
5Rio FerdinandDefender
6Jonny EvansDefender
16Michael CarrickMidfielder
23Tom CleverleyMidfielder
10Wayne RooneyStriker
19Danny WelbeckStriker
20Robin van PersieStriker
26Shinji KagawaMidfielder
13Anders LindegaardGoalkeeper
31Scott WoottonDefender
25Antonio ValenciaMidfielder
18Paul ScholesMidfielder
14Javier HernándezStriker
Players to Watch
Demba Ba
Demba Ba
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The Senegal international rescued a point for the Magpies last weekend with a brace against Reading, albeit in slightly controversial circumstances as the ball appeared to strike his hand.

Papiss Cisse and Ba seem to take it in turns to go through purple patches, and it is the latter's turn so far this season with six goals already to his name.

Sir Alex Ferguson will be all too familiar with Ba after the 27-year-old gave his side a torrid time in Newcastle’s 3-0 victory over the Red Devils in January, and another injury-hit Manchester United back line could have their work cut out against the in-form striker.
Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
There was always speculation over how Rooney would fit back into the United line-up with Robin van Persie on fine form, but the England striker produced a superb performance in the Champions League on Tuesday, setting up both goals.

The 26-year-old will now be looking to open up his own account for the season and catch up with Van Persie’s tally.

Sir Alex Ferguson may continue to use Rooney in a deeper role behind the Dutchman, and it will be a tricky afternoon for Cheikh Tiote in midfield to make sure he protects Newcastle’s threadbare defence from United’s No.10.
Newcastle are turning into draw specialists with three already this season, but the Magpies have only been beaten once in the Premier League this term.

Manchester United won four league games on the spin after losing at Everton on the opening day, and will be keen to shrug off last weekend’s defeat at home to Tottenham.

Sir Alex's side will have had an extra two days to recover from the midweek European fixtures, and this could prove costly for a Newcastle squad that is struggling to contend with defensive injuries.
Editor's Prediction

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