After putting in a worrying display at Vicarage Road last weekend against a Watford side who are sat firmly at the foot of the table, Manchester United are desperate for a Christmas boost when they welcome Newcastle to Old Trafford on Boxing Day evening.
Hit with a shock 2-0 defeat against the leading relegation scrappers, a result that ended their six-match Premier League unbeaten run, the former champions have continued to show some inconsistencies nearing closer to the New Year.
On the flip side, while United may have come crashing back down to earth last weekend, Newcastle made another impressive return to winning ways and have continued to impress heading into 2020.
Picking up a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace in the North East, Thursday’s guests have won three of their last four top-flight appearances and will also be boosted by their most recent meeting against the former champions.
When the two sides faced off at St. James’ Park back in October, the Magpies snatched a 1-0 win and another shock Newcastle victory can be found priced as high as 7/1 with Ladbrokes.
United’s rollercoaster campaign continues
Although back-to-back 2-1 victories over Tottenham and bitter local rivals Manchester City may have had many starting to believe that United had turned a corner entering December, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side once again came under hefty scrutiny last weekend.
Suffering a 2-0 defeat away at Watford on Sunday, against a Hornets side who managed to land just their second Premier League victory of the season, the Red Devils have continued to show some worrying inconsistencies.
With David de Gea far from at his best and once again caught out over the weekend, the Spanish shot-stopper has managed to record just a pair of top-flight clean sheets in any of their 18 matchups this season.
Already shipping at least a pair of goals against the likes of Watford, Sheffield United, Aston Villa, and West Ham this year, United can be found at 4/5 with Bet365 to have their defence breached at some point in midweek.
Elsewhere, United’s Norwegian boss could be tempted to hand Paul Pogba his first start in over three months after featuring off the bench at Vicarage Road over the weekend. The Frenchman could replace Jesse Lingard in midfield with the England man now going over 25 hours without registering either a goal or assist in a Premier League game.
Newcastle keep climbing
Bouncing immediately back from their 1-0 defeat at Burnley a fortnight ago to snatch three points off of Crystal Palace over the weekend, there really appears to be a party atmosphere forming around St. James’ Park.
With £25million signing Miguel Almiron bagging his first Premier League strike to help the Magpies pick up a 1-0 win on Saturday, one-time Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has guided Newcastle to the top half of the table for Christmas day.
Now losing just one of their previous five appearances, a run that saw them pick up a stunning 2-2 draw against Manchester City last month, you might be interested to know that Thursday’s guests are pencilled in at 3/1 with Paddy Power to land a top-10 finish come May.
Although Bruce may have been right to praise his side’s recent turn in fortune, Newcastle have previously struggled on their trips to Old Trafford and will need another colossal performance to pull off an upset in midweek.
The Magpies have lost each of their last three trips to Manchester and have not landed a Premier League victory at the former champions since 2013.