30 November 2023
5 major talking points ahead of Newcastle vs Manchester United
The pick of the Saturday Premier League games has to be Newcastle vs Manchester United. Here’s all you need to know going into their clash at St James’ Park (live on Showmax Pro Mobile, courtesy of SuperSport).
A repeat of last season’s Carabao Cup final
It wasn’t long ago that these two teams met at Wembley, resulting in defining moments for both clubs and their managers last season.
Manchester United triumphed on the day, which ended a six-year spell without a trophy (their longest trophy drought in 40 years). Significantly, it was tangible success for Erik ten Hag in his first season at the club – a sign that United might have found a manager to stick with in this troublesome post-Ferguson era.
For Newcastle, just getting to Wembley was a momentous achievement in itself in that it was their first cup final in 24 years. Unfortunately, they couldn’t end the trophy drought that haunts the club (68 years and counting), but it vindicated the belief shown in Eddie Howe to lead the Magpies in this exciting new era.
That final left scores to settle and points to prove. This fixture used to be the marquee Premier League match-up in the 90s and the rivalry between the two looks to be growing again.
Both teams fighting to keep their Champions League status
It was a source of pride for both clubs last season that they were able to finish in the top four. At the moment, both run the risk of not just dropping out of the UEFA Champions League in the group stage, but out of UEFA competition completely.
Currently they sit outside of the top four with the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham fighting hard to regain their places in Europe’s greatest club competition.
If Newcastle and Manchester United are to maintain their Champions League status, it’s matches like this one that become must-win games.
Ten Hag easing the pressure on himself
After such a promising first season in English football, it’s turned sour pretty quickly for Erik ten Hag after an uninspiring start to the league campaign and some disastrous Champions League results.
Some faith has been regained with three Premier League wins in a row, though. With new ownership on the horizon at Old Trafford, the Dutchman will need to make sure that results keep improving if he is to stay at the club long term.
Howe on a roll against the Red Devils
Eddie Howe often struggled to get results against Manchester United when he was at Bournemouth. At Newcastle, he’s clearly enjoying more resources at his disposal and has enjoyed a fine run against the Red Devils.
That Carabao Cup final was his only loss against Manchester United since taking over at the club. He’s won the last two meetings without conceding a goal and he could lead them to their first hat-trick of wins against the Red Devils in over 100 years.
As Newcastle look to become a truly elite club, winning runs like this against established Premier League giants will go a long way towards securing that status.
One of the best attacks against one of the worst
Only Manchester City have scored more goals than Newcastle in the Premier League this season. The Magpies have shown an impressive knack of cashing in when they have the better of certain teams, having scored at least four goals on four different occasions this season.
Manchester United aren’t even in the top half of the list of this season’s top scorers, which is a huge indictment for a club of their size that has such a proud history of attacking football.
Newcastle have scored in every one of their home games this season, so if United are going to come away with three points this Saturday, they’ll probably need to score more than once because a clean sheet will be hard to come by.
Great news! Showmax Premier League will then launch in February 2024. Powered by SuperSport and made for mobile users, Showmax Premier League is the first standalone Premier League mobile streaming service ever to launch in Africa and will take every single match of the world’s most popular football league to every corner of sub-Saharan Africa. Find out more »
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