The League Cup final of 2022/23 feels like a long time ago. Back then, it felt like a fixture between two resurgent forces of English football. Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United were on their way back, while the new ownership at Newcastle, combined with Eddie Howe’s genius had revived another sleeping giant.
Fast forward to the same fixture in the League Cup this time, and only half of that statement is true, in bad news for United fans.
Newcastle are still going strong, proving last season was no fluke. In fact, their 4-1 win against PSG in the UCL has probably been their moment of arrival on the big stage.
United, on the other hand, have gone only one way since that League Cup final victory and it’s not up.
Here’s the match preview, buildup, team news, and more as Manchester United welcome Newcastle to Old Trafford in a moment of crisis for the Red Devils…
Manchester United vs Newcastle preview
United come into the game with their reality hitting them in their face after three unconvincing wins before the derby.
Manchester City wiped the floor with Ten Hag’s men, who looked every bit as inferior on the pitch as they looked on paper when the teamsheet dropped. A 0-3 defeat didn’t tell the whole story as City didn’t look like they went out of second gear to dispatch their once-famed rivals.
The performances have been shaky for United all season, even though the results improved recently. Against a quality team, that luck was always going to run out. Now, they face a quality team for the second consecutive game.
Newcastle are on a mission to prove that they are here to stay. Although their last game was a 2-2 draw against Wolves, they remain in sixth position in the league and showing a good account of themselves in the UCL’s group of death.
On current form, even home games for United are nothing to be afraid of for the visiting teams and Newcastle will fancy their chances of a revenge for last season’s cup final loss.
Manchester United vs Newcastle predicted lineups
Man United team news
Erik ten Hag’s team selections have been head-scratching lately. He dropped Sergio Reguilon and Raphael Varane against City for Jonny Evans and Victor Lindelof for “tactical reasons”.
Therefore, predicting United’s lineup at this point is increasingly becoming a frustrating exercise since the manager himself doesn’t look clear on his best XI.
In terms of injuries, Aaron Wan-Bissaka might get some minutes in this game to relieve Diogo Dalot of his fatigue. Mason Mount should start from the beginning after his puzzling exclusion against City, while Casemiro might be deemed fit for this after missing out against City.
United need a win here so rotation just for the sake of it just because it’s the League Cup will likely be the last thing on Ten Hag’s mind.
Predicted Man United XI: Onana, Dalot, Varane, Maguire, Reguilon, Casemiro, Mount, Fernandes, Rashford, Antony, Hojlund
Newcastle team news
For the Toons, the absence of Sandro Tonali comes as a shock after his involvement in a betting scandal saw him suspended for 10 months. There are no new injury concerns for Eddie Howe’s side.
Long-term absentees like Harvey Barnes, Alexander Isak, Elliott Anderson, and Sven Botman will continue to miss games, including this one.
Predicted Newcastle XI: Pope, Trippier, Lascelles, Schar, Burn, Joelinton, Guimaraes, Longstaff, Gordon, Almiron, Wilson
Manchester United vs Newcastle prediction
At this moment, United are not favourites for any game they play, home or away, regardless of opposition. That will continue to be the case unless they can prove otherwise with an emphatic performance.
That emphatic performance looks a long way away right now and Ten Hag’s recent comments on the style of play at United aren’t filling anyone with confidence either.
Newcastle, on the other hand, have developed somewhat of a rivalry with United in their heads and will be extra tempted to pile on the misery at Old Trafford. Condemning them to a home loss in front of anxious supporters will taste sweet for Howe’s men.
United need to be on high alert, ready to match their foe’s intensity. Otherwise, United losing at home has become an all too familiar sight for fans this season.
FootTheBall predicts Man United 1-2 Newcastle.