Rafa Benitez vs. Jose Mourinho used to mean Champions League semi-finals, but these days the former is more concerned with keeping his team in the top flight. They will face a very tough task against a Manchester United side who are in good form at present.
Newcastle are 27/5 to win a home game against Manchester United for the first time in five attempts. Only West Brom have won fewer home league games than the Magpies this season, so it looks a tall order. After winning three of their first five league matches at St James Park in 2017/18, Newcastle haven’t won any of the last eight.
Manchester United are priced at 7/11 to head home with three points, and they will fully expect to. They lost their last away match at Tottenham, but despite that they still have the second best form in the Premier League over the last six away games.
The draw is available at 3/1, and it would appear to be Newcastle’s best hope of taking something from the match. The Geordies have drawn their last three home league games, and Benitez will set them up to contain and frustrate Manchester United.
Joselu is 19/2 to open the scoring, or 7/2 to bag a goal at some point. The Spaniard may have only scored four league goals this season, but they have all come at St. James Park and he is Newcastle’s top league scorer in 2017/18. If any Magpie is going to score, he’s certainly the most likely.
Romelu Lukaku can be backed at 13/10 to get on the score sheet, or 18/5 to get the first goal of the game. The former Everton striker excels against the Premier League’s lesser lights; he has scored 12 league goals this season, but none against a team who was higher than ninth in the table on the day of the match.
Predicted Score: Newcastle United 0 - 2 Manchester United
Look out for:
A low card count. There have only been 17 yellow cards shown across the last six meetings of these teams, which is lower than the Premier League average of 3.3 bookings per game.
Manchester United to win to nil, at 13/8. Newcastle have failed to score in six of their home Premier League matches this season, which is the joint-most in the division. Mourinho’s team will have enough to get at least one goal, and should be able to hold the Magpies at bay.
It’s a long shot, but:
Jamaal Lascelles to score the first goal, at 35/1. Manchester United have looked susceptible to crosses and set plays at times this season, and Lascelles is the second top scoring centre-back in the Premier League in 2017/18.
Written by Andrew Beasley
Andrew Beasley is a self-confessed stats nerd who tries to use facts and figures to his advantage when it comes to betting. Andrew is also a musician and a Liverpool fan who loves Mohamed Salah more by the game.