Friday 21 August 2015

Match preview: United v Newcastle

Former United assistant boss Steve McClaren brings his new-look Newcastle to Old Trafford this Saturday lunchtime searching for only their second win here since 1972 and their first of the 2015/16 campaign. 

The former England manager, who served as United's number two under Sir Alex from 1999-2002, replaced John Carver in the St James' Park hotseat and has already begun to make his own stamp in the team, bringing in Georginio Wijnaldum and striker Aleksandar Mitrovic. 

A much improved 3-1 win over Club Brugge in midweek has boosted the confidence of the players and fans and we go into this game looking for a fourth win on the bounce in all competitions.
Should we do so, it will be the first time that we have won the opening four league fixtures since 2011/12. 

Reds manager Louis van Gaal hinted that Bastian Schweinsteiger could make a first start tomorrow, whilst Phil Jones is still injured, Marouane Fellaini serves the third match of his ban and Marcos Rojo needs more match fitness.

"It is still the same, only Jones is ill but it's getting better with him so maybe next week, he's already running on the pitch so it is not bad.
"Rojo is not injured but needs match fitness."

On Schweinsteiger, van Gaal added:

 "Yes of course he can be ready, it's a matter of time, maybe it shall happen tomorrow.
"You never know, you shall  have to wait and see my selection.
"I think he can still do better because when you are not fit enough then it is difficult to show your highest level.
"It is also a matter of time and we have seen a solution in rotating our second captain Michael Carrick, with Schweinsteiger, I think it is a very good solution because we can spare them both for the big moments."

The Dutchman added:

"We must continue in our good start, it is another home game but as you know it shall not be easy against Newcastle- I like their style of play and their support is very good so it is a big challenge for us and we have to be ready."

Referee: C Pawson
Betting odds: United 2/5 Draw 17/4 Newcastle 12/5

Form guide: United W W W Newcastle D L 

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