Tuesday 3 March 2015

Match preview: Newcastle v United, Wed 3 March

Hot on the heels of victory over Sunderland on Saturday, United travel to St James' Park on Wednesday in search of a four-day North East double. 

This is the second of three games in ten days for the Reds as Louis van Gaal's side enter a pivotal month of fixtures that will make or break our season. 

The Magpies- under the temporary stewardship of John Carver- are currently perched in mid table in 11th place and the Reds have won the last two meetings between these two historic football cities (4-0 on our last visit to Newcastle and 3-1 at OT on Boxing Day).

United have no new injury concerns with Robin van Persie (ankle) the only definite absentee.
Phil Jones and Luke Shaw, both of whom missed Saturday's 2-0 win with illness and injury respectively, are fit and available for selection.
Michael Carrick was an unused substitute against Sunderland, but van Gaal has said that it is "too early to bring him back."

On van Persie and Carrick, van Gaal said:
"It is too soon to say when Robin (van Persie) shall be back  but it is not going to be only one or two weeks- this we shall have to wait and see.
"I put Carrick in my squad because Phil Jones and Luke Shaw could not play and I took a risk with that, as a substitute you can play 20 or 30 minutes which he can do."

Juan Mata, who scored twice in that 4-0 win on our last visit here, could be restored to van Gaal's XI and Angel Di Maria looks likely to keep his place in the side despite his recent poor run of form.

Despite their inconsistent form, unpredictable Newcastle and their 18-goal strike force of Papiss Cisse (11) and Ayoze Perez (seven) will pose a stern test for a Reds side with just three Premier League wins away from home all season.

Speaking ahead of the match on Tuesday, van Gaal added:
"It will be a very tough game away in Newcastle, they always play with a very high rhythm, they want to give a lot of energy in their play and the fans are very good, they are supporting a lot.
"They want to play a nice style of football and that I like.
"I hope it shall be a good game and that we shall win."

Form guide: Newcastle L W D D L W United W D W W L W
Match odds: Newcastle 16/5 Draw 8/11 United 9/4 (888sport.com)
Referee: Anthony Taylor 

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