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Premier League Preview: Newcastle - Manchester United

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  PROBABLE LINEUPS


NEWCASTLE UNITED

Harper
Simpson, Perch, Williamson, Santon
Ben Arfa, Tiote, Cabaye, Gutierrez
Cisse, Ba


MANCHESTER UNITED


De Gea
Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra
Carrick, Scholes
Nani, Rooney, Kagawa
Van Persie


Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew is facing a defensive crisis ahead of Sunday’s game, with Steven Taylor (calf) unavailable and Fabricio Coloccini (thigh) also a doubt.

Danny Simpson is pushing to shrug off a hamstring injury to return to the side, meaning James Perch could fill in at center back, while midfielder Yohan Cabaye is set to make a comeback from a mouth infection. Meanwhile, the game may come too soon for Tim Krul (elbow), and Ryan Taylor (knee) is a long-term absentee for the Magpies.

Sir Alex Ferguson is still without defenders Phil Jones and Nemanja Vidic (both knee), but Chris Smalling (foot) could make a comeback to the Manchester United squad. Antonio Valencia (foot) and Ashley Young (knee) remain sidelined, while Darren Fletcher (stomach) could make a first Premier League appearance after coming back from a 10-month absence against CFR Cluj in midweek.

  DID YOU KNOW?

  • Newcastle's 3-0 win over Sir Alex Ferguson’s side last season was its first over the Red Devils in 20 matches in all competitions; its previous victory was a 4-3 thriller in September 2001.

  • However, if the Magpies avoid defeat it will be the first time since 1989 they have gone four games unbeaten in the league against the Red Devils.

  • A massive 88 percent of Newcastle's goals have come in the second half, the highest proportion of any team in the league.

  • Demba Ba has made two Premier League appearances against Manchester United, and scored in both.

  • Manchester United has gone behind in five of its six Premier League games this season.

  • Both Paul Scholes (nine) and Wayne Rooney (10) have scored more goals against Newcastle than when facing any other Premier League club.

  • In his last five starts against Newcastle, Robin van Persie has scored five times.
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