Manchester United defensive duo in contention for Newcastle fixture

Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans are back in training for United and could feature on Tyneside

Manchester United defenders Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans are back in training according to manager David Moyes.

Evans has been struggling with injury since early February when United lost 2-1 away at Stoke City, while Smalling has been side-lined since before the 3-0 thrashing from Liverpool last month.

"We have got Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling back in training. That helps us.” Moyes said in his pre-match press conference on Friday.

United are also waiting on minor injuries picked up in the 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich in mid-week to Ryan Giggs and Alex Buttner.

"Ryan Giggs picked up a wee bit of an injury in the [Bayern] game and we are not quite so worried about Alex Büttner. He is not as bad as when he first came off. We have got Jonny and Chris on the way back, which is important for us because we have missed them through what has arguably been one of the most difficult times of the season for us.” Moyes added.

The Reds head to Newcastle on Saturday having lost 1-0 in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford earlier in the season, and defeat on Saturday would leave the Magpies just five points behind United with the same amount of games remaining.

United have endured a tough first season under the helm of David Moyes, having won only half on their games throughout the course of the campaign. Defeats at home to West Bromwich Albion, Newcastle, Everton and more notably Liverpool and Manchester City have seen calls for David Moyes to be sacked from several areas of the fan base and media.

Last weekend’s 4-1 victory at Aston Villa saw a banner flown over Old Trafford that read ‘Wrong one – Moyes Out', but Moyes’ reception from the fans in attendance suggested that the majority of supporters are willing to give him more time.

Champions League qualification now looks out of the question for United, unless they achieved the unthinkable by winning the competition this season. For Moyes now improvement and consistency until the end of the season will be key, before he looks to strengthen for next year.

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