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Manchester United could make history at Newcastle United tonight

4 weeks ago
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It is Newcastle United v Manchester United tonight.

The game an 8pm kick-off as Eddie Howe hopes to take his team level on points with fourth bottom Watford, though maybe a little optimistic to hope for the 13 goal winning margin that would take Newcastle United out of the relegation zone.

Whilst for the visitors, Ralf Rangnick is hoping to get Manchester United back in the chase for the holy grail, the Old Trafford side hoping to be competing for fourth place with the top three 14 points and more distant.

Ahead of the match, BBC Sport and the official Premier League website have been competing to bring us the most ‘interesting’ stats involved Newcastle United and / or Manchester United ahead of kick-off…

Both clubs capable of breaking a number of Premier League records by 10pm tonight.

Stats via official Premier League site:

Manchester United have scored 112 Premier League goals against Newcastle. No team have scored more against a single opponent in the competition’s history (Arsenal also 112 v Everton).

(ED: The two sides have met in 53 PL matches, so that averages out at NUFC conceding 2.11 goals per game against MUFC)

Newcastle have conceded 79 Premier League goals in 2021, the joint-most in a single calendar year in the competition (also Ipswich Town in 1994). The last top-flight team to concede more over the course of a year were West Bromwich Albion in 1985 (87).

(ED: Steve Bruce has been the architect of this particular disaster, Newcastle conceding 47 and 48 goals in Rafa’s two PL seasons, which became 58 and 62 goals under Bruce, an absolute shocker as Steve Bruce massively failed to make the changes necessary, as well as the existing players losing all confidence under him. With also a game at Everton scheduled to be played before we get to 2022, this could get messy. Only one small mitigating factor is that due to last season starting later, it meant more 2020/21 matches were played (23) after the turn of the year (in 2021) than normal.)

Only against Aston Villa (8) has Cristiano Ronaldo scored more Premier League goals than he has against Newcastle (7). His seven goals have come in his last four league appearances against them, including a brace on his return to Man Utd in the reverse fixture this season.

Newcastle have won two of their last four Premier League home matches against Man Utd (L2), more than they had in their previous 13 against the Red Devils at St James’ Park (W1 D3 L9). They did lose this exact fixture 4-1 last season, however.

BBC Sport stats:

Newcastle have lost 10 Premier League games against Manchester United after scoring the opening goal – equalling the competition record against a single opponent.

This is the first time Newcastle have spent Christmas Day in the relegation zone.

(ED: They don’t specifically mention ‘Premier League’ but definitely not the first time ‘ever’ this has happened, so definitely a PL stat, not all-time.)

The Magpies have let in 41 goals, their most after 18 games of a season since 1960 when they went on to be relegated from the top flight.

(ED: That averages out at 2.27 goals per game and if that average continues, would equal 86 goals conceded by the end of the season. Needless to say, if you concede twice in a match, Newcastle aren’t going to score three and win many. So improvement needed urgently.)

Newcastle have dropped a league-high 17 points from winning positions this season.

Newcastle have lost all 10 Premier League matches this campaign against teams in the top half of the table, in contrast to eight games unbeaten versus clubs in the bottom half.

(ED: I will take this as a positive! However, needless to say, NUFC need to be beating the teams around / just above them, draws won’t be enough.)

Newcastle have lost 21 Premier League games in 2021, a joint-league high alongside Southampton prior to Boxing Day. Another loss would equal the club top-flight record in a calendar year.

(ED: Once again, small mitigating factor of having played a few more 2020/21 games (23) after the turn of the year than normal, due to the late start in September last season.) 

Joe Willock has failed to score in all 16 appearances this season, having scored eight in 14 matches in 2020-21.

(Man) United are one short of becoming the first club to record 300 Premier League away victories.

Man Utd are the only club not to have scored in the opening 15 minutes of a Premier League match this season.

The Red Devils have not scored a set-piece goal (excluding penalties) since 18 April.

Marcus Rashford has been directly involved in a career-best seven goals against Newcastle, scoring four and assisting three in seven Premier League games.

(***So many records that can be broken tonight…what Eddie Howe would give for a ‘boring’ old 1-0 win and a second NUFC clean sheet of the season. He needs his players to step up and eliminate the series of horrendous errors that have made things so much worse in recent times, then a bit of luck and the odd favourable decision from the match officials wouldn’t do any harm either.)

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