Premier League Preview: Manchester United vs. Newcastle

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  • Manchester United has a firm grasp on the all-time series, having won more than half of the matches with a 72-36-34 record.
  • Wayne Rooney will miss the fixture after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season.
  • Newcastle hasn’t won at Manchester United since 1972.

Foul moods should abound when Newcastle United march into Old Trafford for a Saturday’s tilt with Manchester United (Watch live on NBCSN 7:45am ET and online via NBC Sports Live Extra).

One loss in 13 shouldn’t be a big deal, even for a massive club like Manchester United, but a 1-0 defeat that signaled the end of home dominance of Everton is resounding in Manchester. Throw in that the loss came to manager David Moyes former club, a Toffees team currently five points ahead in the table, and life is noisy for the Red Devils.

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Meanwhile, Newcastle is coming off their first defeat in five matches, a 3-0 loss at Swansea that did not come without controversy. Alan Pardew was hot with referee Howard Webb after multiple penalty calls went unheeded and Jonjo Shelvey, sitting on yellow, went unscathed after appearing to launch his head at Mathieu Debuchy.

Still the plaudits continue to roll in from Newcastle’s unbeaten November, with Tim Krul and Alan Pardew honored, and the Magpies have seen some success against Manchester United in the past two seasons. Manchester took both matches last season, 4-3 and 3-0, but Newcastle took points from both tilts in 2011/12, to the tune of 3-0 and 1-1.

Fair play to Newcastle: they’ve shown well against top competition thus far, aside from a 4-0 Opening Day loss to Manchester City at the Etihad that came without engine room star Yohan Cabaye, embroiled in transfer controversy. Aside from that they beat Chelsea and Spurs, drew Liverpool and dropped a 3-2 thriller to Everton.

The absence of Wayne Rooney signals distress for Manchester United, who may also be without Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa. All that is a welcome relief for the Magpies defenders; The team has freely substituted at several defensive positions and are at their best when allowed to move forward. Phil Jones should return for Manchester United.

Loic Remy remains one of the PL’s hottest scorers and was quite dangerous in the loss to Swansea and the on-again, off-again drama of whether captain Fabricio Coloccini wants to go back to his family in Argentina is off… for now. Pardew could also have Hatem Ben Arfa and Papiss Cisse back in the fold as Newcastle looks to keep danger in their line-up.

What they’re saying

Alan Pardew backs Moyes to succeed at Old Trafford: “I think everybody knew that the first person to follow Alex, it was going to be very, very difficult. But he’s a strong man and I think he can handle it, and there’s a long, long way to go. I think they had gone 12 games unbeaten up until that game, so it’s not as if there’s a crisis there. They have lost a game, which as I say, anybody can do in the Premier League at the moment.”

source: Reuters

Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs on the challenge of rebounding from the Everton loss: “It’s a quick turnaround, but we’ve got to pick ourselves up. We cannot feel sorry for ourselves for too long. It’s a home game and hopefully it will be a different result. We need to get on a run, before this we were on a 12-game unbeaten run. We have to get over this disappointment now.” 

Prediction

Newcastle’s 3-0 loss away to Swansea on Wednesday has the potential to be written off as an anomaly with some controversial Howard Webb non-calls combined with terrific saves from Michel Vorm, while the Everton defeat’s echoes could be quickly erased with a strong performance on Saturday. Both teams aren’t exactly defending dynamos, so it’s fair to expect the goals often seen in this fixture. The Red Devils get off the mat with a 2-1 win.

U.S. Open Cup roundup: Poku lifts Miami; Red Bulls, Cincy win on PKs

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While MLS represents the majority of the remaining clubs in this year’s U.S. Open Cup, one side continues to defy the odds.

[ MORE: Minnesota United adds Hearts midfielder Sam Nicholson ]

Miami FC reached their first quarterfinal in club history after knocking off Atlanta United late on Wednesday, behind a goal and an assist from Kwadwo Poku. The victory for Miami sets up a date with FC Cincinnati — who pulled off an unbelievable shootout win against the Chicago Fire.

Meanwhile, the New York Red Bulls and New England Revolution both advanced on the night with wins over the Philadelphia Union and D.C. United, respectively. The Red Bulls and Revs will meet in the final eight as well.

Sporting KC kept its hope of hoisting a fourth U.S. Open Cup title alive on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo. The 2015 winners will take on FC Dallas — who defeated the Colorado Rapids on Tuesday night.

Here are all the results from tonight’s Open Cup action.

Houston Dynamo 0-2 Sporting KC
New England Revolution 2-1 D.C. United
Miami FC 3-2 Atlanta United
New York Red Bulls 1-1 (5-3 on PKs) Philadelphia Union
FC Cincinnati 0-0 (3-1 on PKs) Chicago Fire
San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 Seattle Sounders
LA Galaxy 2-0 Sacramento Republic

Report: City Football Group set to expand outreach with Girona deal

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City Football Group appears on the verge of adding to its global outreach, and it’s next destination looks to be in Spain.

[ MORE: Are Southampton’s days of selling behind the club? ]

The group of investors, which are known for controlling Premier League side Manchester City, are reportedly nearing a deal to purchase a partial stake in Spanish club Girona — which is set to make its La Liga debut in 2017/18.

CFG is said to be gaining a near “50 percent” stake in the club, with the rest of the club owned by Media Base, a company owned by Pep Guardiola‘s brother, Pere.

Over recent years, CFG has vastly expanded its ownership outreach and currently has a stake in five clubs around the world, with Girona set to be the sixth.

MLS side New York City FC, Australian A-League side Melbourne City FC, Japan’s Yokohama F. Marinos and Club Atletico Torque in Uruguay are all part of the CFG enterprise, alongside Man City.

New York Red Bulls ink goalkeeper Luis Robles to new deal

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The “Iron Man” will keep up his amazing journey with the New York Red Bulls, after signing a new deal with the club on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Wesley Sneijder on verge of joining Los Angeles FC ]

Goalkeeper Luis Robles has extended his contract with the reigning Eastern Conference champions, as the American continues to raise his consecutive starts streak, which stands at 157.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed in the club’s release.

Robles joined the Red Bulls back in 2012 after playing in Germany, and the shot-stopper hasn’t missed a start ever since.

Report: Minnesota United adds Hearts midfielder Sam Nicholson

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Minnesota United has had its shares of ups and down in its debut MLS season, but the Loons are on the verge making an exciting young signing.

[ MORE: Wesley Sneijder closing in on Los Angeles FC move ]

ESPN FC is reporting that Minnesota will sign Hearts winger Sam Nicholson from the Scottish Premier League on a deal that makes him a Loon until 2019.

The young attacker is expected to join the MLS side when the summer transfer window opens on July 10.

Nicholson, 22, has played with the Edinburgh side since his youth days, and made his senior debut with the club in 2013. During his time at Hearts, Nicholson scored 16 goals in all competitions for the team.

Last season, Nicholson missed 16 matches due to a significant knee injury.

According to the report, Scottish sides Rangers and Aberdeen were also among those interested in acquiring Nicholson, while English Championship clubs Bristol City and Barnsley also reached out about the attacker.