Predicted Newcastle Starting 11 v Manchester United
Manchester United v Newcastle United
Saturday 7 December 12.45pm Live On BT Sport
There’s a rumour going around that the Mancs aren’t the team they were, indeed even their manager might not be all he used to be cracked up to be, but will the Newcastle starting 11 v Manchester United be able to pull off the first league win at Old Trafford since 1972…
Bony and Michu missed Wednesday night but it hardly affected the result, what about if as expected Van Persie isn’t available as well as the suspended Rooney?
Well without getting too carried away you are talking about clearly their two most dangerous players.
Whilst others may well step up, those are their two real top class players who can win games comfortably on their own. It would be a bit like imagining Newcastle without Remy & Cabaye out of our current squad, not a pleasant thought.
Carrick appears to be the midfielder most highly rated by their fans and he will also be missing through injury, so who do we need to watch out for?
Well from the outside they look to have a lot of good, if not great, players but it is hard to judge which are better than the rest, with many of them capable of raising their game at any time but not doing it often enough.
So I think the question maybe should be, do Newcastle United have the quality to beat a ‘good’ Manchester United? If things fall right then I think the answer is yes but as the Swansea match shows, there isn’t much margin for error as Newcastle still look to be fragile when luck goes against them (penalty appeals turned down) and/or we concede a goal.
Any thoughts of the team just picking itself have probably gone right out of the window, with a number of places up for grabs, or at least Alan Pardew considering his options after the defeat in Wales.
With defeats by West Brom and Everton, plus draws against Southampton and Chelsea, the other United haven’t exactly made Old Trafford a fortress under David Moyes.
I can see Alan Pardew making several changes to his line-up and certainly left-back and centre-half are under scrutiny.
Williamson has done well but I fancy Mapou to partner Coloccini, especially with no out and out aerial threat, while I think there is a sporting chance of Haidara getting a rare start at the expense of Santon.
The workrate of Cabaye, Tiote, Gouffran and Sissoko should be retained but Ben Arfa for Shola must be on the cards if Ben Arfa is fully recovered from his virus as Alan Pardew has indicated.
Shola has played his part but if Ben Arfa is up for it then this is the kind of match where he can make the difference. Yes his form went but his workrate is nowhere near as bad as some fans make out and certainly he covers more ground than Shola ever will, so Alan Pardew wouldn’t be sacrificing anything in that respect if he played Hatem.
It is a bit depressing how quick some supporters are to write off certain players and Ben Arfa is a class player a lot of the time when given the right platform.
Saturday is a real opportunity for both Newcastle United and certain individuals to really make their mark.
I can see both teams definitely scoring but just how many in each net is the question?
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