The evening game between Man United and Newcastle is huge for both Jose Mourinho and Rafa Benitez. We preview the action...
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Manchester United v Newcastle United (1730 BST, BT Sport 1)
The pressure is on for Jose Mourinho at Manchester United, and it is fair to say the Portuguese boss is desperate for a win this weekend.
He will want a performance from his side to prove to the Red Devils hierarchy that his players have not downed tools and that third-season syndrome is not coming to the fore.
Boos rang around Old Trafford after Tuesday night's goalless draw with Valencia in the Champions League, while Mourinho's exceptionally short press conference on Friday shows he is feeling the pressure.
Reports on Friday evening suggested that, regardless of Saturday's result, the United board have lost patience with Mourinho and will relieve him of his duties.
Another front-runner in the next Premier League boss to leave his job market with Sky Bet is Rafa Benitez at Newcastle.
The Spaniard could really do with a victory, with the Magpies still winless after seven games and some disappointing results suggesting it could be another long season on Tyneside.
That narrative alone is enough to describe the importance of this fixture for both clubs, let alone the rivalry between the two managers, both formerly at Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Chelsea.
Prediction: Man United 2-1 Newcastle (Sky Bet odds: 8/1)
By no means will the hosts be convincing, but Newcastle have been pretty poor this term, with a couple of exceptions including their defeat at Man City. Benitez's side will make it tough and with Mourinho going all out to win, it may not be the most memorable of affairs.
With both managers' approach and desperation to win games like this, we do not expect it to be a classic as the Red Devils get back to winning ways after four games without a win in all competitions. Given the fact Man United are odds-on favourites to win, the total goals option presents a good price.
Scorer: Romelu Lukaku anytime at 11/10
The Belgium forward may be an easy option, but he has not been able to buy a goal at the minute, going five matches without a goal in all competitions, and this match should be the one for him to turn it around. He did hit the post against West Ham last week and he is just above evens to get on the score sheet anytime - with an impressive return of six goals and four assists in nine appearances against the Magpies. Another tempting option here was Marcus Rashford, scorer in last week's defeat at West Ham, with his pace and trickery well capable of unlocking the visitors' defence, but it remains to be seen whether he will start ahead of Anthony Martial.
A combination of the above selections, with the added bookings and corner markets. The Red Devils have averaged nearly seven corners a game in their last four Premier League outings and set pieces could be key for them in a bid to get the victory. Mourinho's men have only received 11 yellow cards so far this term. With two red cards included, their total booking points works out at less than 30 per game.
Opta statistics and facts
- In all competitions, Manchester United have lost one of their last 36 home matches against Newcastle United (W26 D9), a 1-0 reverse under David Moyes in December 2013.
- Newcastle, who won 1-0 against Man Utd in February, haven’t won back to back league matches against the Red Devils since October 1972.
- Newcastle have won just two of their 42 away matches in Manchester in the Premier League (D12 L28), winning 1-0 at Man City in September 2000 and 1-0 at Man Utd in December 2013.
- Newcastle have lost seven Premier League matches when scoring first against Manchester United – only Southampton against Man Utd and Sunderland against Chelsea (eight defeats) have lost more times when scoring first against an opponent in the history of the competition.
- Newcastle are winless in their seven Premier League games this season – only in 1898-99 (first 10) and 2015-16 (first 8) have they gone longer without a win from the start of a top-flight campaign.
- Manchester United have just 10 points from seven Premier League games this season – they last had fewer at this stage of a top-flight season back in 1989-90 (7 points).
- Manchester United have conceded 12 goals in their seven Premier League games this season – it took them 18 games to concede the same amount in 2017-18.
- Man Utd striker Romelu Lukaku has had a hand in 10 goals in 10 Premier League appearances against Newcastle (6 goals, 4 assists) and scored in this exact fixture last season.
- Jose Mourinho has won all seven of his home matches against Newcastle in all competitions, seeing his sides score 18 times while conceding just once.
- Rafael Benitez has won six of his last nine matches against Manchester United in all competitions (D1 L2), including two wins at Old Trafford in that time (4-1 in March 2009 with Liverpool, 1-0 in May 2013 with Chelsea).
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Odds correct as of 1900 BST on 05/10/18