By 90Min
November 17, 2017

Michael Owen has praised the work Rafa Benitez has done at Newcastle, as two of his former clubs come head-to-head this weekend. 

The former England international spent four years at St James' Park and three years at Old Trafford after a disappointing spell at Real Madrid - and talking ahead of the tie in Manchester, BT Sport pundit Owen has named the Newcastle players who could be key for them at Old Trafford. 

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"Since they've been back in the Premier League, they've impressed me. I think Rafa Benitez is probably the most important 'player' in that squad because he squeezes every little bit out of that team," Owen said. 

"They have got flair players - Shelvey is an attacking midfield player that can open a defence up. Ritchie...he's got a great left foot, set pieces, good delivery. There's some really good players in their squad, but Benitez has looked at the overall picture and thought 'how are we going to get our best results?' so he plays more of a tight game.

"Tactically he's one of the best out there, and I think he's going to keep Newcastle out quite comfortably by squeezing every little bit of ability out of the players."

The Magpies travel to Old Trafford on Saturday having suffered a slight drop in form, as they have only won one of their last five, losing their last two. United will be looking to get back to winning ways after their 1-0 defeat to Chelsea before the international break saw them fall behind leaders Man City. 

And with a number of big name players on show - including the returns of Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic - Owen has recalled the best players he played with at the two clubs for his ideal 5-a-side team. 

"Okay, let's put Shearer in...Rooney, Van der Sar in goal...Rio Ferdinand and I'll leave myself out, I'll put myself on the bench and put Scholes in," the 37-year-old said.

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