What Can Newcastle Hope for Against Manchester United?

After feeling upbeat and positive about Newcastle United’s prospects against Manchester City last week, I wrote an article about our chances that many of you may have read. Perhaps next time I should write less from the heart and more from the head. I’m going to try again, this time about this Saturday’s match against Manchester United.

I have to be honest. I was disappointed with the City score. On another day we could have had four of five- but if you don’t take your chances against top class opposition, you’re always likely to finish on the wrong end of the result. It’s definitely a match we can learn from though. On another day, we wouldn’t have given away two penalties, and a few more of our shots might have found the back of Joe Hart’s net.

Ironically, after the defeat to City, I heard more positive praise from pundits than I have done for any of our previous matches this season. Dan Walker, presenter of Football Focus, commented on Twitter that he was impressed with us. Even Paul Merson struggled to criticise us saying that we played ‘very well’ and that prior to City scoring their first, they were ‘running out of ideas’.

After a few days to move on and forget about the result, I feel that we played relatively well in places. As mentioned, we could have had at least one goal before City scored, which would have made the game an entirely different prospect. As it was, two bits of poor defending from a usually solid Ryan Taylor gifted City a comfortable lead, and from then on we were always chasing the game. It’s something which is pretty hard to do against the league leaders.

For me it’s only positive from here. We have played the team, who on current form, are the best in the league by a mile. We can go into the match against United knowing that again, we’re expected to get beat. But if we win, it will be massive for the team, and it’ll be an illustration of just how good we can be.

I think more NUFC fans are hopeful of a win this week than last. Against City, we did pretty well to keep the game competitive, in my opinion, against a team who are streets ahead of us financially (and on the pitch). This week the outlook is somewhat better. Our squad still seems positive, so much so that Yohan ‘dreamboat’ Cabaye gave an interview claiming Newcastle will go into the game with United ‘playing for a win’.

I feel the game against United is a game we could definitely get something from. I mean really get something from. Not like last week’s ‘I feel we’ll give City a shock’. But really more than we are expected to against the perennial title challengers.

Following their draw against Benfica in mid-week, Manchester United will be looking to bounce back in the league. They best Swansea away last week, but only narrowly. And with Rooney and Welbeck doubtful, their ability to freely score goals is dramatically compromised. It’s in midfield, however, where I feel that Newcastle can really prosper. United have looked poor in the middle of the park so far this season, lacking the drive or guile of previous seasons in which the likes of Paul Scholes have controlled the game. They have been a much better midfield side with Tom Cleverley included, but with him out injured, the door really is ajar for Newcastle to come in and steal something especially with the hope that Cheick Tiote will be fit again and ready to rekindle his midfield partnership with Cabaye.

Manchester United have looked quite poor in my opinion for the last few weeks. I say poor, but obviously they have to have been pretty good to be sitting in second place. But for United, they don’t seem to have that usual spark Fergie’s teams normally have. As I have already said, it’s well documented how poor their midfield has looked this season, and with our midfield arguably being one of the best in the league, twelve games in, we have a real chance of going to Old Trafford and coming away with something.

I really hope we can get something. To me, this match is more of a test than last week. Newcastle were always likely to be on the wrong end of a hammering from City, if you were to believe the pundits, but it never really happened. Yes we lost, but it wasn’t the battering many had predicted. This week we face the red half of Manchester who look far inferior to their neighbours, so it’s not impossible we could go there and surprise a few.

14 thoughts on “What Can Newcastle Hope for Against Manchester United?”

  1. As poorly as Man Utd are playing currently, I think Newcastle have every chance in the world of taking all of the points. They are worthy of their spot even though they are only now starting to face the top clubs with regularity. You can only beat what’s in front of you and they have done that. Now comes the real test with these two games against United and City.

    United are nowhere near the team that came out of the blocks so fast at the beginning of the year. They started the season with their young players and blasted everyone off the field, but Ferguson felt obligated to reintroduce his veterans back into the line-ups, albeit through injury and suspension, but now his chemistry has been totally disrupted.

    If Newcastle attack United and score early, they have every chance of coming away with a win.

  2. I would love Newcastle to beat United. I’d love everybody to beat United! Unfortunately for Newcastle though, they’ve been getting a little bit above themselves – or rather people talking about them have! Their true tests are all coming up. They failed to pass the first test against City and I have a feeling they’ll soon be dropping down the table a bit!

  3. They’d best not or my floormate at university will be insufferable. :) Realisticly though i can see them getting a point if Fergie doesn’t pick a team that can create chances, basically if he goes for Park and Giggs over Young/Nani/Valencia. Berbatov or Macheda are more than capable of finishing if they get chances provided for them. Think the midfield problems are overhyped, i think one of the reasons United drew in midweek is because they were under pressure to play a more open game, after the series of 1-0 results (completely unjustified, i wouldn’t mind if we won 1-0 all the time).

  4. Didn’t read the article, but I’ll answer the question, of course Newcastle can, will they? Doubt it, It’ll probably be a boring 1-0 united win and still be first on match of the day!!

  5. Best chance we have to pick up points against them for years. In the middle of the park, you have to say we have a damn good chance of keeping some possession, especially with Tiote holding the ball, and some flair with Ben Arfa and Cabaye. Of course, they still have Nani, who has been world class at times, and Rooney just loves to torture us, so expecting a win is a bit daft.

    By no means easy, but the best chance we have had going into Old Trafford for a very long time.

    One thing’s for certain, we’ll at least out-sing them in their own ground, like usual. And of course there’s an MUFC banner outside O’neills, it’s an Irish pub just opposite central station!

  6. United always find a way to win even when not playing well. Everyone is still hung up over their drubbing by City. United lost big because they were down to 10 men. City would have won anyway but the score is deceptive as to how poor United are.

    Newcastle would do well to get a point at Old Trafford but United will go all out for a win as they might believe that City could drop points at Anfield. That would be an extra incentive for United. If this game was at St. James’ Park I would have given Newcastle a chance but at Old Trafford I don’t think Newcastle can get a result. They have a better chance of beating Chelsea at home next week and I expect them to do so.

    1. I know people are still hanging on to their thrashing by City but I do think it knocked them. They don’t seem to have been the same team since that game but still a win is a win and that’s what they’ve been doing.

      And as for City dropping points at Anfield… I’ve got a real feeling that Liverpool are going to do it on Sunday!!

    2. Oh really, well I guess I’ll take that £20 that I was gonna put on a Man Utd V Newcastle draw some where else, but what if Man Utd get a player sent off? Could it be 6? Hmmmm.

  7. Tiote has been ruled out so that is a blow to our chances of winning at Old Trafford for the first time in my lifetime (I am 31). Guthrie is also a doubt as apparently he is carrying a knock and has not trained at all this week. Not good news as to win I think Newcastle has to win in the midfield. I have been very impressed with Guthrie’s play this season and feel for the lad as when healthy he has impressed me, but he can’t seem to stay healthy. He had a good game in the Carling Cup scoring at Blackburn and was my motm against Everton. If Guthrie can not go, I suppose that creates a chance for Gosling to come in and prove himself. All that said, cut down the mistakes and take your chances (easier said than done) and Newcastle has as good as a chance to take something as anyone in the league (outside of Man City). Ben Arfa is the real x-factor here. He showed some real good stuff against City (on another day he scores a goal and has an assist) giving hope that his best is not far off and a healthy/ in form Ben Arfa could really take Newcastle to the next level. I re-watched the City game and his movement off the ball and instincts on the ball are on par with the best players in the EPL and the world.

    1. Per BBC Newcastle, Guthrie expected to start so basically same team as against City except maybe Obertan starting over Sammy. It would be nice to see Obertan haunt his former club much in the same way former Toon players always seem to get one over against us.

  8. Newcastle can hope to be taken to the cleaners against a United team that will come out swinging given their poor performance in the CL midweek. They will take it out on Newcastle who will be brought back down to earth after their terrific start. They will lose badly on Saturday but should win against Chelsea the following week. Picking up 3 points against City, United and Chelsea isn’t bad at all. I still think Newcastle will be in the top 6 as long as they beat the teams below them they are supposed to beat. So far they’ve done it whcih is why they are well up the table.

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