Expect goals at Old Trafford as Man Utd meet Newcastle
A shakiness we don’t often associate with Manchester United has been evident in their defence this season and an endeavour-filled Newcastle side can take advantage at Old Trafford.
In fairness to the reigning Premier League champions, they have managed to keep clean sheets in three domestic games since their horror show at home to rivals Manchester City last month, but question marks remain over goalkeeper David de Gea who continues to have a few shaky moments between the sticks for the Red Devils.
Disciplinary problems also remain, with Jonny Evans and Nemanja Vidic’s respective domestic and European suspensions meaning a less than ideal personnel change is forced on Sir Alex Ferguson from game to game.
There are also concerns regarding the pace of the ageing Rio Ferdinand, and the visitors will look to the pace of nine-goal Demba Ba to exploit this weakness.
Phil Jones, whilst impressive going forward in his short United career to date, has left many wondering of his best position as his tendency to bomb forward can appear detrimental when up against a side that can counter attack with speed and intent – something Newcastle have done in such an effective manner so far this season.
A clear example of this was away to league leaders Manchester City last week, where the Magpies’ second half showing warranted more than a 3-1 defeat.
That said, the Red Devils do still have an abundance of attacking flair within their own ranks and, with Ashley Young showing glimpses of his early season from, and Javier Hernandez’s eye for goal glistening once more, there definitely looks to be goals at both ends.
The Old Trafford outfit will be desperate to see Wayne Rooney reprise his lethal early-season goal-scoring touch, and Fergie could revert the forward back to his more natural position higher up the field, as opposed to the deeper role he has been deployed in some matches recently.
Backing over 2.5 goals – as there have been in all of the Magpies’ previous four games and in five of the last seven meetings between the sides – looks extremely tempting at 8/11.