It’s time for Manchester United to pick themselves back up and get themselves into the race for the European positions — and what better way to do that than lifting themselves over Newcastle with a victory at Old Trafford? (7:45 a.m. ET; watch live on NBCSN and online via NBC Sports Live Extra).
Newcastle are a point above Manchester United in the table, and are coming off a fantastic November, one in which they won all four of their matches. However, last week they fell 3-0 at Swansea, demonstrating that the new, improved Magpies aren’t invincible quite yet. Captain Fabricio Coloccini may have expressed his commitment to the club, but he hasn’t been at his best since returning from injury. Loïc Rémy hasn’t scored in — gasp — two straight matches. In an effort to right the ship, Alan Pardew has shifted to a 4-3-3, dropping Shola Ameobi to the bench, shifting Moussa Sissoko forward and bringing on Vurnon Anita.
The hosts are coming off their own disappointing loss, with David Moyes falling to former side Everton in front of the Old Trafford faithful last weekend. Manchester United haven’t won in three straight matches, are ninth in the table and twelve points back of Arsenal. But at least they’ve got Robin van Persie returning from injury this week. However, with Wayne Rooney suspended, Moyes will shift to a 4-4-2, with Javier Hernández partnering the Dutchman up top.
Manchester United: De Gea; Rafael, Evans, Vidic, Evra; Nani, Jones, Cleverley, Januzaj; Hernandez, van Persie
Subs: Lindegaard, Ferdinand, Anderson, Valencia, Young, Zaha, Welbeck
Newcastle United: Krul; Debuchy, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon; Cabaye, Tiote, Anita; Sissoko, Remy, Gouffran
Subs: Elliot, Yanga-Mbiwa, Obertan, Gutierrez, Ben Arfa, Shola Ameobi, Cisse