The Premier League returns this weekend as Manchester United host Newcastle United at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Manchester United come into the match on the back of a 1-0 loss to Chelsea two weeks ago in the league, when a header from Alvaro Morata secured all three points for Antonio Conte’s men. The loss has left United a staggering eight points adrift of league leaders Manchester City, who face Leicester City away from home earlier in the day.
Newcastle United have also been in poor form, having lost two consecutive games to Burnley and Bournemouth just before the international break, which ended a three-game unbeaten run, which included a well-earned point against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool. The losses mean that Rafa Benitez’s men sit 11th in the league 11 games into the season.
In team news, Jose Mourinho has handed the fans a huge boost ahead of the game by confirming that long-term absentees Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Marcos Rojo are all fit and available for the game. The latter returned to action by playing in the U23’s International Cup game against Athletic Bilbao, staying on the pitch for 45 minutes. Marouane Fellaini had made a return from injury just before the break, while players like Juan Mata and Ander Herrera got a much-needed rest as they weren’t called up by the Spanish National Team. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Romelu Lukaku will have had their confidence boosted, scoring two and three goals respectively in two matches in the past few days. Phil Jones will be the only notable absentee, as he’s set to sit the match out after coming off in the 25th minute against Germany with a recurring thigh problem. The visitors, on the other hand, are set to be without Christian Atsu and skipper Jamaal Lascelles, while Benitez confirmed in the Pre-Match conference that Irish duo Rob Elliot and Ciaran Clark are both available for selection.
This game will be a huge relief as the Premier League resumes after yet another boring International Break, and will be a cracker of a game as many players, Martial, Lukaku, Mkhitaryan included, are in scintillating form coming into the clash, and will be out to help the manager put the dreadful loss to his former club away with a much-needed, spirited display. The Toons, on the other hand, need to bring their league campaign back on track, and they’ll be out to set a poor record at Old Trafford right. Mourinho’s men cannot afford to lose any more points, otherwise their noisy neighbours will be out of sight pretty soon. Whatever happens, this game is set to be goals galore, with the majority of the goals hopefully being scored by the home side.