It must feel like forever since the last time Manchester United fans saw their team play a game.
The Red Devils are finally back on the field against Newcastle United after a couple of postponements from COVID-19, the first league game for the club since December 11. Almost recovered from their own COVID-19 outbreak, Manchester United now set their sights on moving up the rankings.
As a result of the dismissal, Manchester United may rank seventh in the Premier League table, but the Red Devils are firmly in contention for a place in the Champions League. While it hasn’t always been pretty for the Red Devils under Ralf Rangnick, the team’s performances have shown clear structure and intention, earning 1-0 wins over Crystal Palace and Norwich City in their last two before the unexpected break.
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Newcastle, meanwhile, would be happy to take some time off; the festive parties have been the opposite. A series of utterly ruthless matches throughout the Christmas season has resulted in sweeping losses to Leicester City, Manchester City and Liverpool by a combined score of 11-1.
The schedule eases after the Manchester United game, but it will be important for the Magpies to establish a foundation on which to build for a key stretch during January and February that will almost certainly decide their fate in the Premier League.
Sporting News will follow the event live and provide score updates, commentary and highlights as they happen.
Manchester United vs. Newcastle live score
(All the eastern time)
1:36 pm ET: Your program of the day at St. James Park, if that’s your thing.
1:33 pm ET: Boxing Day was quite a while when it came to goals scored. Will this party follow those steps or will it be less explosive?
🆕 4.67 goals per game is the highest number seen on a multi-game PL day so far this season.
We review a holiday of abundance in the Premier League ⬇️🎅⬇️https://t.co/EHJrJFzE3l
– The analyst (@OptaAnalyst) December 26, 2021
1:25 pm ET: It’s not on Boxing Day proper, but Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick is testing management for the first time over the Christmas holidays, and he’s looking forward to it.
1:00 pm ET: While the Newcastle boss seems focused on giving his team something to savor from a festive period that would otherwise be entirely Grinch, Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick talks about how he managed to keep the team in shape despite the significant disruption due to COVID-19.
1:00 pm ET: Eddie Howe took a look at Newcastle’s heyday in the late 1990s when the Magpies battled Manchester United for positions at the top of the table. The accessory does not reach those levels, since each occupies opposite ends of the classification.
Newcastle vs. Manchester United lineups
Most of the news about the Newcastle team revolves around midfielder Jonjo Shelvey, who has struggled with poor fitness and was the victim of some load management by coach Eddie Howe. He was absent in the 4-0 loss to Man City last time and could be lost again. Shelvey had previously played all but six minutes since returning from a two-month calf injury in late October.
Federico Fernández and Jamal Lewis are ruled out with thigh problems, while Paul Dummett has returned to training, but may not yet be ready to watch the minutes of the game. Isaac Hayden is suspended for yellow card accumulation, which means Sean Longstaff could be introduced to the side. Allan Saint-Maximin should be back in the starting lineup after coming off the bench in the last game on a hit.
The 4-5-1 hasn’t quite worked out for Howe in the last two games, and it could spell a return to 4-4-2 that would send Joelinton to the bench.
Newcastle Projected Starting Lineup (4-4-2): Dubravka (GK); Ritchie, Clark, Lascelles, Murphy; Fraser, Longstaff, Willock, Almiron; Wilson, Saint-Maximin.
Manchester United have faced a COVID-19 outbreak in recent weeks, but now it seems to be a thing of the past, with no known players currently with a positive COVID-19 test or persistent symptoms. That means manager Ralf Rangnick has a mostly fit squad to choose from, and only Paul Pogba still hopes to make a full recovery from his groin injury in November.
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Anthony Martial, a possible transfer exit in January, may return from a knee problem as can Aaron Wan-Bissaka. And Raphael Varane is also expected to be available for his thigh injury in late November. That trio would prove a huge boost for the Red Devils, and while they may not play a role right away, their availability gives Rangnick valuable pick options.
Left-back Luke Shaw has also not played since late November, but could also return from a head injury, having taken the bench in a 1-0 win over Norwich City two weeks ago.
Man United Projected Starting Lineup (4-4-2): De Gea (GK); Shaw, Maguire, Varane, Dalot; McTominay, Fred, Fernandes, Sancho; Ronaldo, Rashford.
How to watch Manchester United against Newcastle
- Date: Monday December 27
- Hour: 3 pm ET
- Television channel: US Network
- Spanish television: Universe
- Transmission: fuboTV (7-day free trial), NBCSports.com (authenticated users)
Monday afternoon’s game between Manchester United and Newcastle from St. James’ Park will be broadcast on USA Network (English) and Universo (Spanish) in the United States.
Both channels can broadcast on fuboTV and new users can take advantage of a 7-day free trial.
Man United vs Newcastle betting tips, national teams
Fees courtesy of DraftKings
Manchester United are obviously a big favorite, but no What heavy as one might expect when facing a team that is sending goals throughout their Premier League schedule; the COVID-19 layoff appears to be weighing on the punters.
The Red Devils haven’t played in two weeks, and they are also going to have a very difficult schedule to navigate in the coming months. For that reason, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Rangnick play a bit more conservatively in games where the Red Devils don’t need a full frontal assault to rack up all three points.
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We would have expected a bigger differential in the handicap, so the tastiest option may be the total of goals below. With three games in seven days, Man United could choose to manage the game, and his energies, against an opponent he should easily dominate. There are tougher accessories on the horizon.
To choose: Under 2.5 goals in total (+125)
Prediction: Newcastle 0, Manchester United 1
- Money line: Newcastle +600 / Draw +380 / Man United -220
- Spread: Man United -1.5 (+140) / Newcastle +1.5 (-160)
- O / U 2.5 total goals: Over -150 / Under +125
- Both teams will score: Yes -130 / No +100
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.