After a costly slip-up against Swansea City on Sunday, Manchester United will be keen to return to winning ways as they host Newcastle United for the eagerly anticipated Boxing Day showdown.

Having won seven of their eight home games this term, the Red Devils are billed as the prime favourites to secure the three vital points, although the Magpies are more than capable of pulling a shock at the Theatre of Dreams.

In the corresponding fixture last season, the game ended in a 1-1 stalemate, with Javier Hernandez and Demba Ba chalking up their names on the scoresheet.

Team News

United manager Alex Ferguson is set to make some major changes to his side, with the likes of Javier Hernandez, Darren Fletcher and Danny Welbeck, all expected to start for the Red Devils.

 Rafael could return after missing out the clash against the Swans with a hamstring injury, although, Nani, Anderson (both hamstring) and Kagawa (knee), are all, expected to sit out.

Newcastle, on the other hand, will be without the likes of Hatem Ben Arfa, Steven Taylor (both hamstring), Yohan Cabaye (groin), Ryan Taylor and Dan Gosling (both knee).

Another absentee for Alan Pardew’s men will be Ivory Coast international, Check Tiote.

The 26-year- collected his fifth booking of the season during the club’s 1-0 win over QPR on Saturday and is thus, suspended for the Boxing Day tie.


Expected Line-Ups:

Manchester United (4-4-2): De Gea; Jones, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Fletcher, Welbeck; Hernandez, Van Persie.

Newcastle United (4-4-2): Krul; Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon; Marveaux, Anita, Perch, Gutierrez; Cisse, Ba.


Player to Watch: Javier Hernandez

With nine goals already to his name this campaign, Javier Hernandez would be keen to add another rung to his tally when he comes up against a vulnerable Newcastle team.

His pace and ability to get behind the defensive wall are bound to trouble the duo of Williamson and Coloccini and it will be interesting to see what kind of an impression the Mexican will make during the rare start he could be afforded by Fergie.  

Prediction: Manchester United 3-1 Newcastle United

United face a depleted Newcastle side who have lost six of their last eight domestic games (via

The Red Devils will be keen on bouncing back from their draw against Swansea, and it is hard to expect anything other than a comfortable Red Devils win.

Match Fact

Newcastle haven't won at Old Trafford since 1972, with 30 games having been played in the process (via

Where To Watch Online: Manchester United vs. Newcastle United