Newcastle host Manchester United at St. James' Park on Sunday and the Magpies could really do with a positive result with things really hotting up at the bottom of the Premier League table.

Rafael Benitez's side have found the going tough this season despite a promising start to life back in the big time following their promotion, and they go into the game with United just a point above the relegation zone, and defeat could see them slip into the bottom three.


It hasn't been plain sailing, and there has been a lot of distraction at boardroom level with the supposed takeover from Amanda Staveley and PCP Capital Partners blowing hot and cold.

United come into the game having closed the gap last weekend between themselves and Manchester City to just the 13 points, but with Jose Mourinho having conceded the league title, he'll be hoping to get three points to keep distance between them and Liverpool and Chelsea.


United bounced back from their recent 2-0 defeat to Tottenham with a 2-0 victory of their own against Huddersfield. They have won six out seven games so far in 2018 in all competitions, and those six victories were all clean sheets, meaning United go into the game with Newcastle as overwhelming favourites.

United beat the Magpies with ease (4-1) back in November at Old Trafford, and Benitez will be determined to get revenge at  St. James' Park - the team certainly need it.

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Classic Encounter

Newcastle 5-0 Manchester United (October 1996)


Newcastle thrashed United 5-0 back in 1996 when Kevin Keegan was at the helm, which was an extra sweet result after the Magpies had fell short in the title race the season before.

Goals from Darren Peacock, David Ginola, Les Ferdinand, Alan Shearer and a wonderful chip from defender Phillipe Albert sealed all three points for Keegan's 'Entertainers', serving as the perfect revenge for the Charity Shield defeat by the Red Devils months prior.

The result fired Newcastle to the top of the Premiership, three points clear of Liverpool in second.

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Team News



Both Rob Elliot and Islam Slimani have trained this week after recovering from their respective injuries, and Benitez may be thinking about thrusting the Algerian loan signing in from the start against Chris Smalling. Jesus Gamez remains out with an ankle injury.

Jose Mourinho is still without Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marouane Fellaini through injury. 

Daley Blind is touch and go for the game after recovering from an ankle problem. Phil Jones is in line to return to the matchday squad after his supposed illness last weekend.

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Predicted Lineups

Newcastle (4-1-4-1): Darlow; Yedlin, Clark, Lascelles, Dummett; Diame; Ritchie, Shelvey, Merino, Kenedy; Slimani.

Man Utd (4-3-3): De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Rojo, Shaw; Lingard, Matic, Pogba; Sanchez, Lukaku, Martial.

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Jose Mourinho has never won at St. James' Park before which will come as a surprise to many, but that is likely to change this weekend.

The Magpies have won just twice in 2018 and are seriously struggling the build up any kind of momentum. They couldn't beat Crystal Palace, Burnley or Swansea, meaning it could be a tough old afternoon against stronger opposition in Manchester United.

With Alexis Sanchez and Paul Pogba in their ranks, United should have too much for the hosts.

Prediction: Newcastle 1-2 Man Utd.