Paul Merson thinks Manchester United would have hand-picked Newcastle United as their opposition this coming weekend.
Under pressure from both their own fans and the media, Man Utd have lost to Derby County and West Ham, as well as drawing against Wolves and Valencia in these past four games.
Their worst league start since the eighties sees Man Utd only 10th, though that is still eight places above Rafa Benitez’ team.
Paul Merson says that after covering last weekend’s Newcastle game against Leicester: ‘I couldn’t believe what I was watching.’
The former Arsenal player harking back to whenever he played at St James Park and how it was always a hard game with Newcastle and their fans up for it.
Instead, it was, if you are honest, a shocking affair in terms of Newcastle’s attacking threat, Merson making the point that Shelvey’s shot from his own half was the only effort on target.
He claims Man Utd would take Newcastle before Huddersfield and Cardiff as ideal opposition ‘because they can’t score a goal.’
The relegation zone currently sees three teams on two points – Huddersfield are currently bottom and have scored three goals, then Cardiff and Newcastle who have each scored four.
It says it all when the three lowest scorers are all in the relegation zone, if you can’t score goals you can’t win matches.
Paul Merson claims Rafa Benitez will once again try for a goalless draw, with Manchester United eventually running out 2-0 winners.
Ask any Newcastle fan and they would take a draw now but somehow Rafa has to find a way to get his team scoring goals.
If not against Man Utd then certainly against the likes of Brighton, Southampton, Watford, Bournemouth and Burnley, which are the matches that come after the international break.
Paul Merson talking to Sky Sports:
“I watched Newcastle the other day against Leicester and I couldn’t believe what I was watching.
“I have played at St James Park plenty of times and it was a hard place to play football.
“The players were up for it, the crowd were up for it and it was a hard game.
“They had just one shot on target (against Leicester) from 65 yards from Jonjo Shelvey.
“If Manchester United could hand pick any team to play this weekend it would be Newcastle.
“Forget Cardiff or Huddersfield it would be Newcastle because they can’t score a goal, they don’t even look like scoring a goal.
“On the flip side, if (Manchester) United don’t win this game there’ll be major trouble at Old Trafford.
“Newcastle will go there for a 0-0 but United will eventually break them down.
“Prediction is Manchester United 2 Newcastle United 0.”