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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|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.
- 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.
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.