Eddie Howe’s short tenure so far hasn’t yielded the results that their new owners may have hoped for, though without any new recruitments it’s fair to reserve judgement until the end of the season.
It’s just one win in 19 now for the Magpies across all competitions so far this campaign, and unless there’s a real upturn in fortunes there’s a serious chance that this Newcastle side will be playing Championship football next season.
Man United remain unbeaten since the departure of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with four wins from six matches so far under both Michael Carrick and Ralph Rangnick, though with the latter’s three games so far coming against Crystal Palace, Young Boys and Norwich, it’s difficult to judge his short tenure.
The Red Devils have scored exactly once in each of those games, and that lack of output is something that Rangnick will be working on at Carrington in their 15 day hiatus from their last outing.
Man United To Win And Under 2.5 Goals
The hosts’ last three games have ended in hefty defeats to Liverpool, Leicester and Man City, and it doesn’t get much easier than that here.
They conceded a total of 11 times across those outings, and while the visitors will likely dominate this game, their record under current management suggests that this will likely not be as comprehensive a victory as those last three games for Newcastle.
Their only goal over this period came from the boot of Jonjo Shelvy at Anfield, though it’s looking likely that the midfielder will be absent from this game. The Magpies haven’t won any of the last 17 matches that the English midfielder hasn’t started, and tying in current form, it’s hard to envisage the hosts coming away with anything on Boxing Day.
United have scored at least three in each of the last four meetings between these sides, though we wouldn’t be convinced that a repeat is on the cards. The last five meetings at St James’ Park have yielded a balanced W2-D1-L2 record for each side, and while this certainly isn’t a foregone conclusion, we’d expect United to improve that record on Boxing Day.
Each of United’s three games under Rangnick have seen under 2.5 goals land, and while that’s not been the case with Newcastle’s last three, we can’t see United putting them to the sword after a couple of weeks away, so the low scoring away win holds some weight for this game.
MAN UNITED TO WIN AND UNDER 2.5 GOALS