Newcastle and Man Utd will face each other in a pivotal Premier League clash at St James’ Park on Saturday with the sixth position in the standings table on the line as the former are boasting 23 points to the latter’s 24.
Both squads will be seeking redemption after disappointing Champions League results earlier this week with the Magpies losing two points at Paris drawing 1-1 with PSG in the 98th minute and the Red Devils also earning one point against Galatasaray after going up 3-1 only to see the Turkish comeback to make it 3-3 by the final whistle.
Newcastle, under Eddie Howe, will try to keep building on a supremely dominating 4-1 win against Chelsea on MD12 last weekend while Man Utd will look for their fourth Premier League win in a row.
Newcastle’s injury jar is still filled to the brim with NUFC missing players across the whole lineup from the defensive end through the offensive front, and a potential return made by Sean Longstaff—although still pretty much in doubt.
Meanwhile, the Red Devils aren’t in much better condition as they won’t have Lisandro Marinez, Casemiro, Mason Mount, or Christian Eriksen available just to name a few banged-up bodies out there.
After failing to beat them in the Carabao Cup final last season, Newcastle has now defeated Man Utd in back-to-back meetings (once in the Premier League, once in the EFL Cup) and for the first time in ages. A third victory in a row will mark the first time in 101 years that the Magpies pulled off the feat.
Here are some of Howe’s Wisdom Nuggets, courtesy of NUFC.co.uk
On the aftermath of the Magpies’ Champions League encounter against PSG:
“Mentally, there was a reflection afterwards and a lot of disappointment in the dressing room. Collectively, we felt we were minutes away from a historic result for us in our season and what happened, happened.
“When a new day comes and you look at it differently, you have to move forward and look forward to the next game.
“This season, especially, whether the results are positive or negative, we can’t take them with us even for a couple of days because then that influences what happens in the future and the future’s always the most important thing.
“When something like that happens, you allow the players to be emotional but I don’t think we want to view ourselves as victims or any kind of negative association like that.
“It’s happened, put it in the back of our heads, and use it as motivation.”
On Lewis Miley, who became the third youngest English player behind Jude Bellingham and Phil Foden, to start a UEFA Champions League fixture:
“He has had a very early taste of high-level football which can only be a good thing for him. If he was a different kind of character, I might question that but he’s not.
“He is able to take everything in his stride as you have seen with his performances. For someone so young, he’s got a very good perspective on professional sport and life.
“He is very calm, polite and respectful but very keen to show his qualities. He has obvious qualities that he has displayed in the past two games.”
On injury updates, including Sven Botman, Sean Longstaff and Joe Willock:
“Sven is not training with us at the moment. He is slowly building up his load after his knee injury. He is reacting really well to the work he is doing. We hope that continues. He is such a big player for us.
“We hope both Sean and Joe aren’t long-term injuries. We are hopeful we can get them back. The problem is even two or three weeks at this stage seems like a lifetime with the amount of games we’ve got in that period.
“It is difficult to give a definitive time on when they will be back, but we hope it won’t be too long.”
On Manchester United, who target a fourth successive Premier League away win on Saturday:
“You can never underestimate the qualities of Manchester United. They are a very good team and have got outstanding individuals.
“They have a very good Head Coach who is leading them so, first and foremost, we have total respect to our opposition. They have won a lot of games recently and are performing well; they have quality players.
“For us, following on from the Chelsea game, we need to try and keep that momentum and energy from our recent performances, I think it will be a really good game.”
On Nick Pope’s recent performances:
“Some of the saves he made in Paris were some of the best I have seen live. In a part of our season where we need everyone to step up and give more, I think Nick has certainly done that.
“The save I thought he made against Chelsea the week before was underestimated. He is contributing massively for us and since he’s joined the club, he has been a huge player.
“His character is undeniably so good for us. He is very popular within the group. Our whole goalkeeping department has very strong this year.
“When Martin (Dúbravka) came in for the Carabao Cup game against Man United, I thought he performed really well and Loris (Karius) has trained really well so they’re complimenting each other really well.”
- Date: Saturday, Dec. 2nd
- Kick-off: 20:00 BST / 15:00 EST
- Location: St James’ Park, Newcastle (England)