Premier League Preview: Newcastle United vs. Manchester United

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  • Newcastle have 2 wins in last 26 vs. Man United
  • Magpies have 1 goal in last 4 games
  • Red Devils have 1 win in last 7

Newcastle United host Manchester United at St James’ Park on Tuesday (Watch live, 2:45 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra) with both teams struggling to score goals and grab points.

Steve McClaren‘s Magpies currently sit third from bottom and lost three-straight over the festive period without scoring a goal. They badly need a win to pull themselves clear of Sunderland and stay in touch with the teams above them.

[ MORE: Van Gaal’s excuse for fans leaving ]

As for Man United, they continue to stumble along and despite winning their last two games — beating Swansea City on Jan. 2 to snap an eight-game winless streak and then sneaking by third-tier Sheffield United in the FA Cup courtesy of Wayne Rooney‘s stoppage time penalty kick — the pressure is mounting on Louis Van Gaal. United currently sit in fifth place and are three points off the top four.

This fixture has produced some memorable games in the past — my mind instantly flicks back to Newcastle’s 5-0 win in the 1996-97 campaign when Philippe Albert lobber Peter Schmeichel — but most have been wins for Manchester United who have prevailed in nine of their last 12 trips to Tyneside.

In team news Newcastle’s Fabricio Coloccini, Florian Thauvin and Kevin Mbabu are all likely out through injury, while LVG will be without Bastian Schweinsteiger but Morgan Schneiderlin, Ashley Young and Michael Carrick could all return.

What they’re saying

Steve McClaren on Newcastle’s relegation battle: “At this stage, I can’t ask for more from the players. We have to get on with it, that’s the nature of football. The players have to be big enough, bold enough and show courage.”

Van Gaal on why United’s fans left early vs. Sheffield United: “They are not thinking that we would score, I think, and maybe also because of the traffic that they leave the stadium a few minutes early. There are many reasons why someone might leave early,” Van Gaal added. “When I was looking at matches to analyse an opponent, I have done that also – I leave the stadium five minutes before. You never know what the reason is. You can be very negative. But we are in the next round.”

Prediction

These two teams drew 0-0 at Old Trafford early in the season and don’t expect this to be a goalfest. Tense and tight between two teams struggling for form, the St. James’ faithful will try to roar their team on to victory but I feel like United might just nick it. 1-0 to the Red Devils.