Man Utd v Newcastle: Hosts eye Boxing Day massacre

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Newcastle United were Champions League dark horses at this stage last term but, following a dire first half to the season, they are currently far closer to the relegation places than the top four – and a festive trip to Old Trafford isn’t likely to see them climb the table.

The Magpies have endured a horrendous run of away form this season and are yet to pick up all three points in any of their matches away from St James’ Park.

In fact, Alan Pardew’s men haven’t won in any of their last nine Premier League away games and are a pretty meaty 8/1 to end that run against Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.

There’s a good reason they’re out at such long odds though.

The Manchester side have been – despite losing three times in the league this season – in ruthless goalscoring form as they look to avoid a repeat of their defeat in the Premier League title race courtesy of Manchester City’s superior goal difference last term.

They have scored at least two goals in all but two of their last 20 home league matches, not failing to score in any.

With Man Utd finding goals easy to come by of late and Newcastle conceding an average of 1.75 goals-per-game in the league, backing over 3.5 goals in this game looks a decent punt at 11/10 – especially considering two of their previous three games have both seen four goals scored.

Fergie’s men are in the midst of a five-game winning streak at Old Trafford and haven’t lost a home game against Newcastle since 1972.

Backing the hosts to win looks like the only match bet worth considering at an extremely short 1/5.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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