Newcastle United manager, Steve Bruce.

Reds v Newcastle: Opposition preview

Manchester United host Newcastle United on Boxing Day in the Premier League.

The Magpies are enjoying a good season under the stewardship of former Red Steve Bruce and are currently ninth in the table, having won five of their last eight league games.

Ahead of Thursday’s match, here’s everything you need to know about Newcastle...

A Christmas message from the RedsVideo

TEAM NEWS

Newcastle have problems at left-back heading into game, with Paul Dummett a doubt after he was forced off in their last outing, against Crystal Palace. Jetro Willems could also miss the trip to Old Trafford due to a knock, while Bruce is still without long-term absentee Matt Ritchie. It means the Magpies may be forced to deploy Javier Manquillo on that side. Elsewhere, Newcastle are still missing defenders Jamaal Lascelles and Ciaran Clark through injury, while a hamstring issue will rule out the dangerous Allan Saint-Maximin. Ki Sung-yueng is also unavailable for the visitors. Speaking ahead of this game, Bruce also seemed to imply striker Andy Carroll would not start in the Boxing Day clash, with Saturday's home match against Everton in mind.
“It will be unrealistic to think Andy could play two games in 48 hours, but he will want to,”
the Magpies boss said on Monday.
“We will see how he is physically. Watch this space.”
FORM GUIDE

Newcastle have won three of the last four Premier League games and have amassed 25 points from 18 matches, which sees them sitting 10 points clear of the relegation zone, and just three off Sheffield United in fifth. However, on the road, their form has been less impressive, with the Magpies tasting defeat in five of the previous seven away league games. In their last Premier League match, Miguel Almiron’s late winner - his first goal in English football - secured a vital win over Roy Hodgson's Crystal Palace.
HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD

In the Premier League, we’ve hosted Newcastle on 24 occasions and have lost just once - that came in 2013, when Yohan Cabaye grabbed the only goal of the game. From the other 23 meetings, United have won 15 and drawn eight. Overall, we’ve played the Magpies 168 times in all competitions and have emerged victorious on 86 occasions, drawing 39 and losing 43. Last season’s clash at Old Trafford was one to remember, with United coming from two goals down with 20 minutes to go to win, courtesy of strikes from Juan Mata, Anthony Martial and Alexis Sanchez. 
Anthony Martial celebrates scoring against Newcastle United in 2018.
Anthony Martial scored in last season's dramatic 3-2 win over the Magpies.
THE MANAGER

Steve Bruce spent nine years at Old Trafford as a player and made 414 appearances in that time. The former centre-back is also adored by United fans as, with Bryan Robson injured for much of the season, he captained the club to our first Premier League title success in 1992/93. As a manager, this is the fifth side he has brought to the Theatre of Dreams, after previous stints managing Birmingham City, Wigan Athletic, Sunderland and Hull City. In 23 games as a manager against United, Brucie has lost 17 times, drawn on five occasions and has been victorious just once - that came in October’s reverse fixture at St James’ Park.
Steve Bruce playing for Manchester United.
Brucey won 12 major honours with United during his time as a player.
KEY MAN

After struggling to hold down a place in the side during the early weeks of the season, Jonjo Shelvey has emerged as one of Newcastle’s most important players in recent weeks. The former Swansea City man has played the full 90 minutes in seven of the last eight games, with the one absence coming due to injury. Shelvey’s range of passing, crunching tackles and relentless work rate means he is always a tough opponent, and the midfielder has even chipped in with a few goals of late - three in his last four, in fact. The 27-year-old will likely skipper the Magpies at Old Trafford and, should he play, Shelvey will make his 200th appearance in the Premier League.

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