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Former Manchester United fan Chris Stark predicts surprise confidence boost for Newcastle United at Old Trafford

6 months ago
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Chris Stark admits he was a Manchester United for the first five years of his life.

However, the Radio 1 DJ defends it by claiming: But I think you just write that off to ignorance don’t you?”

Deep down he says he has instead always been a Watford fan, supporting his local team rather than been a glory hunter.

He has been the guest of Mark Lawrenson this week, making predictions for the weekend’s Premier League matches.

Watford are of course on of the surprise packages so far and stand sixth in the table, Chris Stark giving a totally unbiased prediction that his team will win 4-0 at home against Bournemouth.

Mark Lawrenson has gone for an easy 2-0 win for Manchester United but Chris Stark has a surprise prediction that maybe surprises even himself.

The former Man Utd fan saying ‘Everything about this game makes me think that Manchester United should get the win here, However I just can’t put that much faith in this Manchester United team at the moment. Newcastle could do with a confidence boost and I think they will get it at Old Trafford. 2-3.’

With only four goals in seven Premier League matches so far, nobody will be more surprised than Newcastle fans if Rafa’s team manage three goals.

Newcastle haven’t actually done as badly as you might expect at Old Trafford in recent times, avoiding defeat on four of the last nine occasions, including a 0-0 draw in the last (2015/16) relegation season.

The four times Newcastle have got a positive result they’ve never scored more than one goal, relying instead on resolute defending as the basis for a point or better. Martins scoring in a 1-1 draw in 2008/09 (when Newcastle were also relegated…), Demba Ba getting a penalty goal in 2011/12 for a 1-1 draw, then of course Cabaye getting the only goal of the game in 2013/14, before that goalless affair in 2015/16.

Newcastle did actually score three goals back in 2012/13, a crazy game they lost 4-3 after leading three times. To compound matters, three days later at The Emirates Pardew’s team lost 7-3 in an even stranger game.

With Rafa Benitez, those kinds of scorelines are very unlikely with is defence so well drilled and disciplined, although last season, with Lascelles missing they crumbled to a 4-1 defeat at Old Trafford despite Gayle taking the lead.

Mark Lawrenson sees Newcastle having no joy on the counter-attack tomorrow despite Man Utd’s recent struggles, time for somebody to step up and start providing a goal threat.

Mark Lawrenson speaking to BBC Sport:

“The situation at Old Trafford is a strange one in many ways and I can’t help feeling that the strained relationship we see in public between Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho and his players is only the tip of the iceberg.

“It is a problem that is not going to go away, either. At the start of September, United won three games – all away from home – but they were still just one defeat away from another crisis.

“Mourinho is not helping matter with what he is saying either. His message seems to be ‘it is not my fault’ but I’m sorry, he is the manager, and they carry the can.

“Ultimately, looking at the way his team is playing at the moment, you would have to seriously question his man-management style and say it does not work in the current climate at Old Trafford.

“If Mourinho does not get on with Paul Pogba and they don’t communicate much, then fine. If Mourinho can still get him to play well on a regular basis then does it matter? No, absolutely not – yet, it seems, with Mourinho, all of that does matter.

“Mourinho might be thinking he can get Pogba out of the door in January but he has still got to manage him between now and the start of next year.

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“I don’t think Mourinho’s job is in any serious danger at the moment but I would be very interested in United’s share price at the moment because, if that starts to drop. then the club’s American owners are going to get involved.

“As far as this game goes, it is going to be about whether Manchester United can break Newcastle down.

The Magpies have had a terrible start to the season and, however their manager organises his players, I cannot see them really having much joy on the counter-attack.

“Prediction is Manchester United 2 Newcastle United 0.”

Radio 1 DJ Chris Stark:

“I have been (a Watford fan) for pretty much all my whole life.

“I have got to admit I was a little bit of a Manchester United fan for like the first five years of my life…

“But I think you just write that off to ignorance don’t you?

“No offence to United fans.

“Everything about this game makes me think that Manchester United should get the win here

“However I just can’t put that much faith in this Manchester United team at the moment.

“Newcastle could do with a confidence boost and I think they will get it at Old Trafford. 2-3.”

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