Manchester United round-up: Early team news; boss on using De Gea

A select round-up of the latest news relating to Manchester United

Manchester United travel to St James’ Park later today to take on Newcastle United in a vital Premier League encounter.

Louis van Gaal’s side are fourth in the table, but Southampton’s win on Tuesday means United are now just one point clear of the Saints with a game in hand.

In early team news, the BBC reports that United defenders Phil Jones and Luke Shaw are both available again after suffering from illness and injury respectively last weekend.

Michael Carrick is said to be lacking match fitness but he could still feature from the bench.

As for Newcastle, Remy Cabella is side-lined and Jack Colback is suspended while Ryan Taylor is tipped to replace Massadio Haidara at the back.

In other news, van Gaal has been defending his side’s tendency to play the ball back to goalkeeper David de Gea rather than play with more attacking intent.

In comments published by ESPN, the United boss explained that while playing the ball backwards is sometimes important to keep possession, his side could do it less.

“I agree with the fans that we don’t have to use so much the goalkeeper,” he said, “because I have seen also moments where we can play a higher tempo without interfering with the goalkeeper, but the goalkeeper is also the eleventh player.”

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