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Premier League

  • April 19, 2011
  • • 19:45
  • • St. James' Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
  • Referee: L. Probert
  • • Attendance: 49025
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Premier League preview: Newcastle - Manchester United

Premier League preview: Newcastle - Manchester United

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League leaders searching for victory which would extend the gap at the top to nine points and move them a step closer to a record-breaking 19th title as Wayne Rooney returns


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PROBABLE LINE-UPS
Newcastle: Harper; Simpson, Coloccini, S.Taylor, Enrique; Gutierrez, Barton, Tiote, Guthrie; Nolan; Lovenkrands.

Manchester United: Van der Sar; Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Giggs, Nani; Rooney, Hernandez.  
DID YOU KNOW?
  • Goals could well be on the agenda as both sides have managed to hit the net consistently this season. Notching 70 times, Manchester United have scored more league goals than any other side and despite losing Andy Carroll, Newcastle are fifth in the goals scored table – hitting the net 48 times.
  • Jonas Gutierrez will be the only player on display to play every Premier League fixtures this year. No Manchester United player has been an ever present this term.
  • Alan Pardew will be wise to pay close attention to Nani. The Portuguese midfielder has more assists in this year’s Premier League than any other player in the competition.
  • Newcastle are not scared to put their foot in. In Kevin Nolan and Cheik Tiote, Newcastle have two of the top three Premier League players to pick up the most yellow cards this term. Only Charlie Adam has entered the notebook more often. Unsurprisingly, the pair seem to lead by example as Newcastle are 19th in the disciplinary table. The only side worse behaved are Manchester City.
  • Newcastle have failed to turn St James’ Park into a fortress this season. Pardew’s men have only won three of their last 11 home games and only five of their 16 home outings this term.
  • Despite being the side who seemed most willing to push Manchester United during the nineties, Newcastle have seemed in awe of Sir Alex Ferguson’s men pretty much ever since.  The Toon Army haven’t seen their side conquer United since September of 2001 where they triumphed 4-3 at St James’ Park.
  • The league leaders have only five defeats in all competitions this season.
  • Since Sir Alex Ferguson took charge at Old Trafford in 1986, Newcastle have changed their boss 22 times including double stints by Kevin Keegan and Chris Hughton.
  • In Nolan, Newcastle have the highest scoring midfielder in the Premier League this season with 12 goals.
  • Manchester United have the league’s top scorer at their disposal as Dimitar Berbatov currently heads the goalscoring charts with 21 strikes this season.
LAST MEETING



August 16, 2010: Manchester United 3 – 0 Newcastle United

The Geordies' Premier League bow after a year spent in the abyss of the Football League ended in a routine season-opening victory for United. Fletcher, Berbatov and Giggs sent the Old Trafford faithful home happy and a similar result in the north-east would take Ferguson one step closer to securing an unprecedented 19th top-flight crown for the club.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Tim KrulGoalkeeper
25Danny SimpsonDefender
6Mike WilliamsonDefender
2Fabricio ColocciniDefender
3José EnriqueDefender
17Joey BartonMidfielder
35Danny GuthrieMidfielder
24Cheikh TioteMidfielder
15Jonas GutierrezMidfielder
-Peter LovenkrandsStriker
23Shola AmeobiStriker
12Ole SoderbergGoalkeeper
14James PerchMidfielder
16Ryan TaylorDefender
27Steven TaylorDefender
32Stephen IrelandMidfielder
30Nile RangerStriker
42Shefki KuqiStriker
1Edwin van der Sar Goalkeeper
16John O'SheaDefender
12Chris SmallingDefender
15Nemanja VidicDefender
3Patrice EvraDefender
17NaniMidfielder
16Michael CarrickMidfielder
8AndersonMidfielder
14Javier 'Chicharito' HernandezStriker
10Wayne RooneyStriker
29Tomasz KuszczakGoalkeeper
35Fabio Da SilvaDefender
6Jonny EvansDefender
13Ji-Sung ParkMidfielder
25Antonio ValenciaMidfielder
4Darron Gibson Midfielder
10Michael OwenStriker
Players to Watch
Kevin Nolan
Kevin Nolan
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 4
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
As Newcastle struggled to come to terms with both an attacking injury crisis and the loss of Andy Carroll, their strikers have chipped in with a helping of goals but it has been Nolan who has stepped up to the plate and shone when asked to play up front or in support of a target man.

Up against a tough central defensive partnership, the front line will need all the help Nolan – who has netted 12 league goals – can offer.
Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Back from his controversial two match-ban for excessive swearing, the 25-year-old striker will be chomping at the bit after watching from the sidelines as his treble hopes disappeared at Wembley on Saturday. 

A fresh and frustrated Rooney could prove too hot to handle for the home side and after finally hitting a rich vein of form, the England man will surely be intent on adding to a goal tally which puts him as only United’s third most prolific striker this season.
Prediction
Fresh from the heartache of Wembley defeat, Sir Alex Ferguson will need to use his years of experience to lift his charges for a tricky encounter in front of what will undoubtedly be a boisterous St James’ Park. The leaders will want to pounce on another Arsenal blunder and the prospect of a record-breaking 19th title should be enough to see the Red Devils over the line in this one.

The return of Rooney is a massive boost for United and his guile along with the slippery movement of Javier Hernandez should pose too much of a problem for Newcastle’s back line.  At the other end, Nolan could give the home side a chance but even with him at his best, this one looks like too tough an assignment.

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Editor's Prediction

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