Manchester United v Newcastle United - Match Preview, Stats & Team News

To be played on Saturday 7th December 2013 at 12:45. Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester.

Odds: Manchester United 8/15, Draw 7/2, Newcastle United 13/2

Last season: 4-3

Preview & injury news

Another must win game for David Moyes coming up as his side desperately need three points to keep in touch with those near the top of the table having only picked two points from their last three games, and Moyes' misery was compounded by his former club Everton leaving Old Trafford with all three points in midweek.

If they are going to get a win against Newcastle they are going to have to do it without Wayne Rooney who is suspended after picking up his fifth booking of the season, and with Robin Van Persie still struggling with a groin injury, it may fall to Javier Hernandez to lead the line. Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher are the other notable absentees from the Manchester United side.

For Newcastle, they come into this game on the back of a disappointing defeat to Swansea which followed an encouraging run of form which has seen them touted as candidates for a possible European place at the end of the season. The Toon will hope to have Hatem Ben Arfa fit enough for the trip to Old Trafford after he missed the trip to South Wales because of Illness whilst striker Papiss Cisse is a doubt with an ankle injury. 

Key stats

Wayne Rooney is Manchester United's top scorer in the league this season with eight goals

Loic Remy is Newcastle United's top scorer in the league this season with eight goals. 

Manchester United had 52% possession in their last league match, a 1-0 loss at home to Everton.

Newcastle United had 35% possession in their last league match, a 3-0 loss away to Swansea City.

5 players to watch

Javier Hernandez - With Rooney and Van Persie ruled out, the onus will be on Hernandez to deliver in the final third for Manchester United. The Mexican has a knack of popping up with some important goals for the Champions, can he do it again here?

Yohan Cabaye - When Cabaye plays well Newcastle tend to play well. Man United's midfield has been highlighted as a weakness time and again, so Cabaye will be hoping to take full advantage and inspire a great Newcastle performance.

Tom Cleverley - One of the Manchester United midfielders who is under close scrutiny, and with the pressure on, Cleverley will have to perform to his best to prove he is worthy of place in the side. 

Loic Remy - Remy looks capable of hurting any side that he comes up against so far this season and the Man United back line will want to tighten up, and not give the Frenchman any room as he doesn't need much of an invitation to hit the target.

Phil Jones - Moyes may opt to go for a bit of bite and energy in the middle of the park and Jones could be just the man required to energise the side and lift the crowd. He hasn't done badly when he has operated in midfield so far this season.

Last time they met

Manchester United 4-3 Newcastle United - Premier League, December 2012

A thrilling game of football over the festive season in a match that ebbed and flowed as Newcastle took the lead three times at Old Trafford and still left empty handed. James Perch gave the Magpies a fourth minute lead before Jonny Evans equalised for the home side at the midway point in the first half. Evans controversially scored at the wrong end a few minutes later when Danny Simpson's shot hit Evans and went in. It was initially flagged offside for Papiss Cisse's position but given he hadn't touched it the goal stood. Patrice Evra equalised from 20 yards after the break before Cisse smashed home Gabriel Obertan's cross to give Newcastle the lead for a third time before Robin Van Persie equalised with just under 20 minutes to go. Then in stoppage time Javier Hernandez broke the offside trap to guide home Michael Carrick's pass to give Man United all three points. 

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