Newcastle vs Manchester United predictions: Red Devils still no great shakes on the road
- Newcastle have lost only one PL home game this season
- Manchester United have failed to win six of their last 10 games on the road
- Seven of United's last 10 PL games have featured at least three goals
- Recommended Bet: Newcastle or Tie & over 2.5 goals in the game
Newcastle are eyeing up the top three again as they prepare to entertain Carabao Cup winners Manchester United at St James' Park on Sunday.
Eddie Howe's men, who relinquished third place to the Red Devils in January, were outmanoeuvred by Erik ten Hag's team at Wembley five weeks ago in a contest that was much closer than the 2-0 final scoreline suggested.
Back-to-back Premier League wins over Wolves and Nottingham Forest have put the Magpies in position to leapfrog the visitors if they can pull off a famous win.
United had won only three of their last eight league games going into the international break and will hope the time off has rejuvenated some of their key players prior to a gruelling final phase of the campaign.
Miguel Almiron is still around four weeks away from a return from the thigh injury he sustained before the international break, but Howe says the two-week hiatus has refreshed his squad.
It has enabled Fabian Schar to shake off an injury niggle and the Swiss defender looks set to continue his central defensive partnership with Sven Botman, who should be fine after a bout of food poisoning.
Nick Pope has trained this week after suffering a thigh problem, but Anthony Gordon (ankle) is not yet ready to rejoin the matchday squad.
Joelinton returns after serving a two-game suspension.
For United, Casemiro continues to serve a four-game domestic ban for the red card he received against Southampton.
Scott McTominay pushed his claims to continue as the Brazilian's replacement with four goals in two Scotland games during the international break.
Fred and Antony could return to the starting line-up in place of Marcel Sabitzer, who was troubled by a minor injury while away with Austria.
Alejandro Garnacho and Christian Eriksen are still out with ankle injuries, but Anthony Martial is available to return and Marcus Rashford should be able to start, despite pulling out of England duty.
On average, the Magpies' league games have been 98 minutes and 58 seconds this season, the third highest in the division, but the ball has been in play for just 51 minutes and 41 seconds, the lowest in the competition.
Man Utd have failed to score in their past two league games, as many times as in their first 24 matches this season. The last time the Reds went three league games without scoring was back in February 2020.
However, they have scored more Premier League goals against Newcastle (113) than any other opponent in the competition.
Both of this season's previous encounters between these great clubs have been tight affairs and should probably have featured more goals than they did.
Joelinton and Rashford both missed excellent chances in the 0-0 draw at Old Trafford while Newcastle had Loris Karius to thank for denying United a more emphatic win when they had thrown caution to the win at Wembley.
That said, Pope was certainly missed and his availability together with a recent increase in potency thanks to the form of Alexander Isak will make Newcastle very hard to beat on Sunday.
United have been no great shakes away from home in the Premier League this term, losing just as many road assignments as they have won since the 6-3 derby defeat in October.
The absence of Casemiro, who dominated the Magpies midfield and took the Player of the Match award at Wembley, will be keenly felt when the visitors come under pressure.
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