MX23RW : Friday, May 27 11:54:02| >> :120:10201:10201:
[monks data]
Jan 12, 2016 at 7.45pm UK at St James' Park

3-3

Wijnaldum (42'), Mitrovic (67' pen.), Dummett (90')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Rooney (9' pen., 79'), Lingard (38')

Preview: Newcastle United vs. Manchester United

Sports Mole looks ahead to Tuesday night's Premier League clash on Tyneside between Newcastle United and Manchester United.

There was once a time during the 1990s where Newcastle United's clashes against Manchester United would have a big say on which side went on to challenge for the Premier League title.

That is no longer the case, yet Tuesday's encounter at St James' Park is no less important, with both teams still in desperate need of the three points.


Newcastle

Newcastle United's English head coach Steve McClaren applauds on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United at White Hart Lane in north London on December 13, 2015.© Getty Images

Results may suggest otherwise, but Newcastle's performances under Steve McClaren's management have picked up over recent weeks.

Their last four outings - including the FA Cup tie away at Watford last time out - have all ended in 1-0 defeats. In the most recent losses - versus the Hornets and away at Arsenal - the Magpies actually created the better of the chances.

It all goes to show just where their problems lie at present. Without a goal since December 19, the Tynesiders have found the net just 19 times from their 20 Premier League outings this term - only bottom-placed Aston Villa have scored fewer.

With that in mind, it is little surprise that McClaren has been strongly linked with bolstering his attacking options during this month's transfer window. After all, Newcastle's most clinical strikers since the start of the season are Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ayoze Perez (4), but neither has scored in a month.

Yet, while displays may have improved, the long and the short of it is that McClaren's men are in the relegation zone, two points from safety.

A win over visiting United could potentially lift them out of the bottom three, although that would also require help from rivals Sunderland, who travel to 17th-placed Swansea City a day later.

Recent form: WDLLLL


Man United

Louis van Gaal appears prior to the game between Manchester United and Swansea on January 2, 2016© Getty Images

Even in victory, criticism aimed at United manager Louis van Gaal has intensified.

As the Dutchman headed towards the Stretford End and the tunnel following his side's home FA Cup encounter against Sheffield United, he was greeted with jeers and a number of supporters issuing him with the thumbs down.

The patrons were reacting to another 90 minutes of football in which the team had failed to excite them. In fact, the League One Blades would have earned themselves a replay had midfielder Dean Hammond not had a rush of blood to the head in stoppage time when he brought down Memphis Depay inside the box and Wayne Rooney dispatched the resultant penalty.

Paul Scholes, who in punditry appears to have found his voice, claimed after the game that the United players "looked bored". The fact that their first shot on target did not arrive until the 69th minute would suggest that the club's former midfielder is not far off the mark.

It has all only served to enhance the feeling that it is matter of when and not if time is called on Van Gaal's Old Trafford tenure.

One recent report has claimed that were the Red Devils to lose to either Newcastle tomorrow or the old enemy Liverpool at Anfield at the weekend, the Glazer family have decided to wield the axe.

Recent form: LLLDWW


Team News

Memphis Depay of Manchester United celebrates his team's 3-0 win in the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Sunderland at Old Trafford on September 26, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom.© Getty Images

Depay impressed as a second-half substitute against Sheffield United, which may earn him a recall to the starting lineup for this trip to the North-East.

His inclusion may come at the expense of Juan Mata, who was hauled off after the restart in the same game following a rather anonymous outing.

Jesse Lingard is also back in the squad, but Bastian Schweinsteiger may sit this fixture out after he picked up a knee problem.

As for Newcastle, Emmanuel Riviere, Jack Colback and Rolando Aarons are all said to be pushing for returns from injury, although it remains to be seen if McClaren will throw any of that trio straight back into the team.

However, captain Fabricio Coloccini is a doubt because of a hamstring complaint. Should the Argentine fail to recover in time, it is likely that Jamaal Lascelles will deputise.

Newcastle possible starting lineup:
Elliot; Mbemba, Lascelles, Dummett, Janmaat; Sissoko, Tiote, Wijnaldum, Thauvin, De Jong; Mitrovic

Man United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Borthwick-Jackson; Carrick, Schneiderlin; Depay, Herrera, Martial; Rooney


Head To Head

Aside from the 0-0 draw that they claimed from their trip to Manchester earlier this season, Newcastle have a rotten recent record against United.

Of the last eight meetings between the duo, United have run out winners on six occasions.

They have also enjoyed their last three trips to St James' Park, having won each time without conceding a goal.

The overall head to head record reads 83-41 in United's favour, with 38 draws being played out.


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Newcastle 0-0 Man United

Newcastle have been unable to bulge the back of the net in half of their last 10 Premier League matches, while during the same time period United have failed to score six times. With both sides badly lacking imagination in the final third at present, a 0-0 draw would not be a surprise.



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Newcastle United's English head coach Steve McClaren applauds on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United at White Hart Lane in north London on December 13, 2015.
Read Next:
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