22/02/2008 11:00, Report by Steve Bartram

Blog: Reds in high spirits

After an excellent week in the cups, it's back to Premier League matters for United this weekend, and the feelgood factor will be high in the camp after the win over Arsenal and a good draw against Lyon.

If you’d asked every United fan before the game in France if they’d have taken a scoring draw, the vast majority would have snapped your hand off – and every one of them definitely would have with five minutes left!

Carlos Tevez’s goal is a vital one for United’s Champions League ambitions, and that's why I think we'll be on a high going to St James’ Park on Saturday, which is always a happy hunting ground for United.

Newcastle have had a wretched run of late. Of course, United beat them 6-0, which will have them up for this Saturday’s match more than ever, and you have to think that sooner or later they will start picking up results under Kevin Keegan. That's cause for concern for United, because Arsenal will be looking to beat Birmingham and move eight points clear on Saturday lunchtime.

But United will go to the North-East in high spirits. The manager might make a few changes, but the likes of Nani and Darren Fletcher have looked excellent when called upon, and we’re looking at a squad with genuine strength in depth now.

It’s easy to forget, after the last couple of performances, that United are still five points behind in the title race, but the FA Cup win over Arsenal may just start off a few nerves at the Emirates Stadium. United have done well in the cups this week, now it’s back to defending the title.


Premier League