Preview: Newcastle United v Manchester United
Manchester United are in Premier League action on Sunday afternoon against Newcastle United at St James' Park. Here's what you need to know...
Setting the scene… After beating Huddersfield Town 2-0 at Old Trafford last time out, the Reds will be looking to make it back-to-back wins in the Premier League when returning to the road this weekend to face Newcastle United at St James' Park. It's been an emotional week off the pitch for the club, who commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster on Tuesday, but Jose Mourinho's men will now switch focus to matters on the field. The Reds will be confident of securing another three points against the lowly Magpies, who are embroiled in the intriguing battle to avoid relegation.
How can I watch it? Sunday's clash kicks off at 14:15 GMT and will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK. Subscribers to MUTV on Sky or Virgin Media, the club's MUTV app or online at MUTV.com will be able to watch build-up from 12:15 GMT on the Match Day show and listen to radio commentary of the game before watching it in full at midnight. You can keep up with all the action as it happens via ManUtd.com's live match blog and by following the official Twitter account @ManUtd.
What's the team news? It'll be interesting to see who gets the nod in central midfield after Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay both performed well against Huddersfield, with McTominay playing the full 90 minutes and Pogba appearing from the bench. Club captain Michael Carrick could make his first league appearance of the season against his hometown team but fellow midfielder Marouane Fellaini will be sidelined, as the Belgian continues his recovery following an operation on his left knee. Mourinho has previously stated he is hopeful that Eric Bailly and Zlatan Ibrahimovic could return to action by the end of the month. Meanwhile, Joselu could be back for Newcastle after the Spanish striker missed the trip to Crystal Palace through illness, while Slovakian goalkeeper Martin Dubravka and on-loan Leicester forward Islam Slimani could make their debuts after arriving at the club on transfer deadline day last month.
How are Newcastle doing? After starting 2018 with back-to-back successes against Stoke City (1-0 away in the league) and Luton Town (3-1 at home in the FA Cup), the Magpies have gone five games without a win in all competitions and have drawn the last two by a 1-1 scoreline at home to Burnley and, last weekend, away at Crystal Palace. Rafael Benitez's side made a bright start to the season following promotion from the Championship but their form has dramatically fallen over the last three months. They haven't won at home in the league since 21 October, have kept just two clean sheets in their last 17 matches and sit 16th in the table – just a point above the bottom three – with 12 games remaining.
What happened last time? When the Reds welcomed Newcastle to the Theatre of Dreams back in November, there was excitement in the air as Paul Pogba returned to the starting line-up after injury and the Frenchman stole the show with a Man-of-the-Match display. Following Dwight Gayle's surprise opener for the visitors early on, the Reds responded well as goals from Anthony Martial, Chris Smalling, Pogba and top scorer Romelu Lukaku secured a convincing 4-1 victory.
What's our overall record against Newcastle like? History shows that the Reds edge the head-to-head record with 83 wins from the clubs' 164 meetings – including seven of the last 11. The last four clashes at St James' Park have yielded 10 away points from a possible 12, with the January 2016 contest on Tyneside ending in a thrilling 3-3 draw. That result and others suggest we can expect some goals on Sunday, with the last 10 encounters between the teams producing 34 in total.
Newcastle's last trip to Old TraffordVideo
One to watch: He may have only joined Newcastle last month but Kenedy has already shown in his first two games for the club that he can be a key player for the rest of the season. Since arriving on loan from Chelsea, the Brazilian has created both of the Magpies' goals against Burnley and Crystal Palace and won a penalty against the Clarets, which was taken by Joselu but saved by opposition keeper Nick Pope. Kenedy's pace, power and direct running has brought a new dimension to the Newcastle attack and has impressed boss Rafael Benitez, who said of the 22-year-old:
“We knew about his quality and, at the same time, we know he is a young player. He has to carry on with the same attitude and same confidence.”
Mourinho v Benitez… The two managers have locked horns in big games down the years when they went head to head at Chelsea and Liverpool respectively, but November's reverse fixture at Old Trafford was the first occasion the pair faced each other in opposing dugouts in the Premier League for a decade since a 1-1 draw at Anfield in August 2007. Mourinho has crossed paths with Benitez 17 times before and has the upper hand with eight wins and five draws.Did you know? Romelu Lukaku boasts a formidable record against Newcastle, scoring six goals and registering four assists in nine previous Premier League appearances against the Magpies in his career. The Belgian striker – who is still the Reds' top scorer this season with 19 goals in all competitions – is also in good form of late, having been involved in six goals (four goals and two assists) in his last six games.
Rivals Watch: There's a full Premier League programme spread across three days this weekend, which begins with a huge north London derby at Wembley...
Saturday 10 February (15:00 GMT unless stated)
Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal (12:30 GMT)
Everton v Crystal Palace
Stoke City v Brighton & Hove Albion
Swansea City v Burnley
West Ham United v Watford
Manchester City v Leicester City (17:30 GMT)
Sunday 11 February
Huddersfield Town v Bournemouth (12:00 GMT)
Newcastle United v Manchester United (14:15 GMT)
Southampton v Liverpool (16:30 GMT)
Monday 12 February
Chelsea v West Bromwich Albion (20:00 GMT)