Man United's Mata delivers verdict on Newcastle boss Benitez

Manchester United's Spanish midfielder Juan Mata celebrates scoring the team's first goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at...

Newcastle face Manchester United on Saturday in the Premier League.

Manchester United's Spanish midfielder Juan Mata warms up ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group A football match between Manchester United and Benfica at Old Trafford in Manchester,...

Juan Mata has told Manchester United's official website that he is looking forward to seeing Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez as the two sides go face to face on Saturday.

Newcastle travel south to face Jose Mourinho's side at Old Trafford, as they look to keep the pressure on bitter rivals Manchester City with three points against Benitez's Toon.

Mata, 29, worked under Benitez during the manager's one-season spell in charge of Chelsea as interim boss during 2012-13, which saw thew duo combine to hold aloft the Europa League trophy.

Newcastle United's Spanish manager Rafael Benitez gestures during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Bournemouth at St James' Park in Newcastle-upon-...

Spain international Mata is likely to return to the Man United side to face the Toon after being left out of the 18-man squad to face former side Chelsea last time out, and he spoke of Benitez in his blog on United's website.

"Returning now to our game against Newcastle on Saturday, everyone knows they are newly-promoted but they are still a big club with several Spanish players," Mata said.

"Among them Rafa Benitez, a manager with whom I was lucky to work with in the past. It will be nice to see him again. We hope to play a good game that allows us to get all three points, and continue showing that strength in Old Trafford."

Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez (R) speaks with Chelsea's Spanish striker Juan Mata during a training session at the Amsterdam Arena in Amsterdam on May 14, 2013. Benfica play Chelsea...

Newcastle come into the game against second-placed United on the back of two disappointing defeats to Bournemouth and Burnley that has seen them drop out of the Premier League's top 10, into eleventh.

The Toon will be up against it then they travel to Old Trafford, having beaten United just twice in the two sides last 29 meetings in all competitions.

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