The narrative behind this fixture is undoubtedly the second debut of Cristiano Ronaldo, with Old Trafford expected to be full to the brim to witness the spectacle.
It’s unclear whether or not the Portuguese superstar will start the game, though his suspension on the international break means he’s had more time to train with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and co. compared to the other internationals in the squad, and that may work in his favour.
It’s not been the ideal start for Newcastle this year as they’ve picked up just one point from their three games so far, conceding eight goals in the process with Only Norwich and Arsenal conceding more.
The worst thing for Steve Bruce’s men is the fact that they would have realistically been hoping to pick up points in all three outings, as they were five points better off last season from their three corresponding fixtures, and although it’s early days they’ll be desperate not to be dragged into a relegation scrap this year.
Under Bruce, Newcastle have lost seven of their nine fixtures against sides operating in the top-six in the table at the time of playing, with six of those seven defeats coming by at least two clear goals, while they also drew a blank in five, so we’d argue that Bruce hasn’t figured out how to handle to bigger sides in the league with this squad.
In fact, up against the traditional ‘Big Six’ sides, Steve Bruce has a woeful 11.8%-win percentage, with just 20 wins from 169 attempts, while that drops to just 3.85% against Man United alone with just a D1-L11 record at Old Trafford, so the home win looks a near certainty.
Man United -1 Handicap
Man United haven’t exactly been firing on all cylinders either this year though, and may consider themselves somewhat fortunate to be on seven points at this stage.
A thumping win over bitter rivals Leeds on the opening weekend has been followed by a dire display against Southampton while their goal in a 1-0 win over Wolves came under controversial circumstances.
Newcastle shouldn’t provide as much of a threat as those sides though, and with the added firepower of Ronaldo up top, we’d be surprised if the Magpies defence could cope.
All in all, Man United will likely be far superior to their visitors and in a packed Old Trafford, one goal could open the floodgates, so we’d expect at least another two-goal margin of victory here for the hosts.
MAN UNITED -1 HANDICAP