Manchester United vs Newcastle United: Preview and Prediction

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Bruno Fernandes’s injury has put Manchester United in even deeper troubles

European hopefuls Manchester United and Newcastle United will take each other on in the final matchday of the 2023-24 Premier League season at Old Trafford at 12:30 AM IST on Thursday. 

Separated by just 3 points on the table, both teams have immense pressure on them to deliver the goods and secure a UEFA Europa League spot with just one game remaining in the league after their clash for each side.

It is obvious that the scrutiny has intensified on not just the players but also on the manager Erik Ten Hag, with many comparing their season to the viral video of water pouring on the seats at Old Trafford after a rainfall following their game against Arsenal. 

It could just as well be the Dutch manager’s last game in charge at home, where United have now faced nine defeats across all competitions in the season, their joint-highest ever in a single PL season.

Manchester United, currently enduring their worst-ever Premier League season so far sit on the 8th spot in the table with 54 points from 36 games. The lowest the Red Devils have finished in the Premier League era is seventh in 2013-14 under the much ridiculed David Moyes, their poorest points total was 58 in 2021-22 under Ralf Rangnick, and not since 1989-90 in the old Division One have they finished with a negative goal difference – they are currently on -4 in the table.

Newcastle United will be wary of their poor away record in Manchester, where manager Eddie Howe is yet to win a game in his 14 away matches in the Premier League so far. However, the Magpies will take heart from their recent run of form which has seen them lose just 1 game in their last 8 clashes and win 5 of them. 

With Newcastle United still having a shot at the fifth place if Spurs lose both their remaining games and Howe’s men win theirs, they will want to exploit United’s miserable form at home further.

As things stand, Howe’s men would need to lose by a monumental 13 goals to be overtaken by United on Wednesday on the points table, but keeping in mind that they have emerged triumphant from each of their last three contests in all tournaments it seems even more unlikely to ever happen.

Current Form

Manchester United came off a relatively acceptable 0-1 loss at home to Arsenal, a game in which a lot of their faithful were expecting a drubbing at the hands of the Premier League hopefuls. 

Leandro Trossard’s 20th-minute goal settled the deal at Old Trafford. It was their second loss in a row following the 0-4 drubbing at the hands of Crystal Palace, and the former Premier League champions have now won only 1 of their last 6 league fixtures.

Newcastle United also dropped points at home to Brighton and Hove Albion, being able to secure only a 1-1 draw courtesy of strikes from Sean Longstaff and Joel Veltman. A win for Howe will be key to creating some daylight between them and Chelsea too, who occupy the seventh spot.

Head to Head Record

The two sides have faced each other 91 times, with Manchester United pocketing 91 wins and Newcastle United having 46 victories to their name.

The last time the two sides faced each other was in the league back in January when Anthony Gordon scored the winner at St. James’ Park.

The away side has won 3 of the last 3 fixtures in which they took on United, which includes 2 Premier League wins at Tyneside and 1 dominant 3-0 EFL Cup Round of 16 triumph at Old Trafford earlier in the season. Miguel Almiron, Lewis Hall, and Joe Willock found the back of the net in that Cup tie in November 2023.

Team News

Eddie Howe has dealt with Newcastle United’s injury crisis well

Manchester United have some hope in the form of Scott McTominay, Lisandro Martinez, Bruno Fernandes, and Marcus Rashford all returning to training last week with 3 of them also featuring against Arsenal. Lisandro is still being brought up to speed but could feature in this crunch tie.

Amad Diallo came off with a knee injury against the Gunners but reports suggest he will be fit in time. Tyrell Malacia, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane, Anthony Martial, Mason Mount, and Luke Shaw will continue to miss out while Fernandes, Rashford, and Willy Kambwala – just out of the medical room – will require assessment before kickoff.

Newcastle United have had a lot of injury problems themselves as well with Alexander Isak currently down with illness and Nick Pope still recovering from his shoulder injury. Isak should be able to make the cut though, as per reports.

Callum Wilson, Fabian Schar, Matt Targett, Lewis Miley, Joe Willock, Jamaal Lascelles, and Sven Botman will most likely miss out alongside the banned Sandro Tonali but Kieran Trippier did make the bench against Brighton and will be available for selection.

Predicted Starting XIs

Manchester United (4-2-3-1): Andre Onana; Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Jonny Evans, Willy Kambwala, Diogo Dalot; Kobbie Mainoo, Sofiyan Amrabat; Amad Diallo, Scott McTominay, Alejandro Garnacho; Rasmus Højlund

Newcastle United (4-3-3): Martin Dúbravka; Kieran Trippier, Emil Krafth, Dan Burn, Lewis Hall; Sean Longstaff, Bruno Guimarães, Elliot Anderson; Jacob Murphy, Alexander Isak, Anthony Gordon


It would be nothing short of a surprise if Manchester United eke out a win against the Magpies as all statistics indicate that they could be on their way to suffering their 20th loss across all competitions – statistics which new owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe will no doubt be enraged with.

On the other hand, Eddie Howe would be appetised by the prospect of not just European football but ending his Manchester curse once and for all and he would rarely, if ever get a better opportunity than this.