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Opinion

Reasons why Newcastle United can beat Manchester United

10 months ago
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Before the beginning of the season, Newcastle United looked mired in a crisis; Benitez, Rondon, Perez all pulling out with the fans ever as clamorous and angry against Mike Ashley’s ownership.

Relegation fears were in the air before a single ball was kicked, pundits were enunciating the worst as grim-facedly and tactfully as they could, and even the most optimistic toon fan was nourishing doubts.

Now a few months into Steve Bruce’s reign and we can all have a good laugh at the intellectual sounding nonsensical assertions of football academics and our folly of disbelief in our squad and manager.

With seven wins and four draws, Newcastle United have broken into the upper reaches of the Premier League table.

The happiness is back at St James Park and now we can all cheerfully aim upwards rather than fearfully look behind. And in light of these recent performances, we can expect them to bloody the noses of Manchester United.

Recent times have been greatly encouraging for the Magpies.

They left Guardiola rubbing his bald head in consternation, Chris Wilder frustrated for ideas and Manuel Pellegrini gasping for breath at his stadium. While most recently, Roy Hodgson left meekly in defeat from St James Park.

Sure, Manchester United at Old Trafford is a daunting prospect, but they are not the team of yore and Newcastle are buoyed and uplifted by their recent wins. If Watford can spring a surprise then there is no reason that Newcastle can’t repeat the same feat.

After all, Steve Bruce’s side already outwitted the Red Devils in October by sitting deep and taking their chance on the counter with Matty Longstaff’s superb goal a thoroughly deserved reward for their patient play, great commitment and robust defending. That victory should greatly embolden Newcastle players when they set out to defeat Solskjaer’s side again.

Paul Dummett’s injury is a blow, which will weaken the team’s rearguard. Coupled with that is Jetro Willems’ doubt for the fixture, but the overall morale of the team is high. And what they lack in quality can be compensated by their spirit of play and passion for glory.

Another encouraging part for Newcastle is that Miguel Almiron has finally broken his duck.

He was in danger of going the entirety of 2019 without scoring a goal but now he has performed the rescue act after all the action-packed theatrics. He had been running hard since his debut against Wolves in February but the end-product only came now against Crystal Palace in December.

It’s unrealistic to expect the floodgates of goals to open now that the jinx has been broken but fans can certainly hope for improvement from the Paraguayan who must be feeling hugely relieved now.

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