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December 26, 2012 11:00 PM SGT
Old Trafford — Manchester
Referee:‬ M. Dean‎
Attendance:‬ 75596‎

Manchester United - Newcastle Preview: Leaders look for response after Swansea draw

The Red Devils top the Premier League by four points after drawing at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday, but will have to overcome a Magpies side intent on climbing the table

By Tom J Doyle

EPL - Manchester United v Sunderland, Sir Alex Ferguson
Getty Images


De Gea
Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra
Welbeck, Scholes, Carrick, Young
Van Persie, Hernandez

Simpson, Coloccini, Williamson, Santon
Anita, Perch
Cisse, Marveaux, Gutierrez

The only real injury problems Sir Alex Ferguson has are in midfield, with Anderson (hamstring) set to miss out until the trip to West Brom on December 29.

Nani (hamstring) and Shinji Kagawa (knee) will most likely return against Steve Clarke's side at the Hawthorns as well, so Sir Alex may well call on the likes of Paul Scholes and Danny Welbeck to fill in the gaps in midfield.

Wayne Rooney could be dropped after a disappointing display at Swansea in which he was substituted, with Chicharito or Danny Welbeck ready to take his place up front.

Alan Pardew has a number of fitness issues to contend with in his squad - Hatem Ben Arfa (hamstring) and Dan Gosling (knee) have no set return dates, and are likely to miss the trip to Old Trafford.

Centre-back Steven Taylor (hamstring) is missing until January, while influential midfielder Yohan Cabaye (groin) is out until February and Chiekh Tiote is suspended after he picked up his fifth booking of the season against QPR last time out.

Ryan Taylor (knee) will not be playing until March, and Haris Vukcic (knee) is likely to be out for the rest of the season, so the January transfer window cannot come soon enough for the Newcastle boss.

  • Manchester United have 21 points from a total of 24 at home this season, scoring 22 goals in the process.
  • Newcastle have won just once in their last 20 league league meetings with Manchester United, losing 14 and drawing five.
  • However, of the last four meetings between the sides, Sir Alex's men have only won once, with two draws and a victory for Pardew.
  • Newcastle have not won away in the league in eight attempts this season, losing four and drawing four.
  • Newcastle have not won at Old Trafford since 1972, with 30 games having been played in the process.
  • Robin van Persie (pictured, right) has five goals and three assists in his last seven games against Newcastle.
  • The sides last met in October when Sir Alex Ferguson's team won 3-0 at St James' Park.

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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
1David de GeaGoalkeeper
3Patrice EvraDefender
5Rio FerdinandDefender
6Jonny EvansDefender
12Chris SmallingDefender
25Antonio ValenciaMidfielder
11Ryan GiggsMidfielder
16Michael CarrickMidfielder
18Paul ScholesMidfielder
14Javier HernándezStriker
20Robin van PersieStriker
13Anders LindegaardGoalkeeper
15Nemanja VidicDefender
28Alexander BüttnerDefender
31Scott WoottonDefender
23Tom CleverleyMidfielder
24Darren FletcherMidfielder
46Ryan TunnicliffeMidfielder
1Tim KrulGoalkeeper
2Fabricio ColocciniDefender
3Davide SantonDefender
25Danny SimpsonDefender
6Mike WilliamsonDefender
14James PerchMidfielder
8Vurnon AnitaDefender
20Gael BigirimanaMidfielder
22Sylvain MarveauxMidfielder
9Papiss CisséStriker
19Demba BaStriker
21Rob ElliotGoalkeeper
31Shane FergusonDefender
34James TavernierDefender
23Shola AmeobiStriker
25Gabriel ObertanStriker
28Sammy AmeobiStriker
-Adam CampbellStriker
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