England Premier League
Saturday 11th September 2021
Kick off at 3pm BST
Venue: Old Trafford
There will be 22 players on the pitch, two managers, 60,000 plus fans and tens of millions of television viewers world wide (though not, ironically, in England because of the 3pm blackout) but the focus will be only on one man, and that is Cristiano Ronaldo.
We can’t quite mention Ronaldo and not Lionel Messi, easily the best two players of this century and both have moved on from their respective clubs this season. For Messi it was a switch to PSG and for Ronaldo he leaves Juventus to come back to Manchester United in an afternoon which will be emotional and also very historical in footballing terms.
Ronaldo has not played for his beloved United since 2009 and he is 36 so there will be question marks about him, but is there a fitter player on the planet for that age? This is a game that will be dominated by his appearance, though he is likely to start from the bench.
As for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side they look more balanced with an abundance of attacking players but a good crafted defence now in Harry Maguire and their other new signing Raphael Varane, another world class player to add to the ranks.
The Red Devils have started the season well and are unbeaten so far and their last game finished in a 1-0 victory over Wolves.
Steve Bruce has been bemoaning Newcastle’s lack of summer transfer activity and when you hear such mutterings as a fan and see your club are already in 17th place, a long season comes to mind. The Magpies did stop their 2 game losing run by drawing 2-2 against Southampton in their last game but already there seems to be air of defeatism around St. James’ Park.
Manchester United: Scott McTominay is back in training after his groin injury but looks likely to miss this game. Jadon Sancho has a minor knock but should be fine to play. Marcus Rashford isn’t back for another 4 weeks at least with his shoulder injury.
Newcastle: Callum Wilson is coming back from a thigh injury and will be assessed. Ryan Fraser is a doubt with a knock. Paul Dummett is being pencilled in to return after a lack of match fitness. Jonjo Shelvey is out for another two weeks due to his calf injury.
Man Utd vs Newcastle Head to Head:
Newcastle have not won at Old Trafford in 8 years.
Last season this fixture finished 3-1 to Manchester United.
Manchester United have scored 7 goals past Newcastle in their last 2 meetings.
Man Utd vs Newcastle Prediction:
It wouldn’t feel like a surprise if Manchester United won this game, but because Ronaldo should be involved in his comeback a win would cement the belief that Ronaldo signing for the Red Devils really does make sense especially if he is able to score a goal. Ronaldo is a special player and he would want nothing more than to come off the bench and score in front of the home fans.
The truth is even without Ronaldo Manchester United should have few problems in facing this sometimes dogged but ultimately underwhelming team. On one side you have Bruce wishing that the owners had spent more money on the other it feels like the smile has not left Solskjaer’s face for a good month. United should win and they should score a few goals too.
Man Utd vs Newcastle Betting Tips:
Half Time/Full Time: Manchester United/Manchester United at 1.57
Goal line (Over 3) at 1.65