Manchester United will be eager to return to winning ways when they host Newcastle United in the Premier League on Saturday.
The Red Devils’ 1-0 defeat at Chelsea in their last match was just their second reverse of the season and left them eight points behind table-topping Manchester City.
After a promising start to the season the Magpies have gone off the boil in their last two games, recording 1-0 defeats against Burnley and Bournemouth, and Jose Mourinho is sure to have the home side fired-up this weekend.
United will hope defender Phil Jones is fit after he was forced off during the first-half of England’s 0-0 draw with Germany with a calf injury.
Jones is optimistic he will be available after suffering a recurrence of the same problem that caused his substitution in United’s defeat at Huddersfield Town last month.
After leaving the England squad on Monday, tests with the club’s medical department revealed the injury was not as serious as first feared. Paul Pogba, Michael Carrick and Marcos Rojo remain on the sidelines.
Mikel Merino and captain Jamaal Lascelles will miss the trip to Old Trafford, while Christian Atsu is also doubtful.
Merino is struggling with a back injury, while Lascelles (ankle) and Atsu (thigh) were withdrawn during the home defeat against Bournemouth.
The home side are priced at 2/7 to win the game, with Newcastle on offer at 11/1 and the draw available at 9/2.
The eight point gap to Man City leaves United with little margin for error in the title race and Mourinho will be keen to ensure his side don’t lose any further ground before the two teams meet at Old Trafford in December.
Striker Romelu Lukaku will hope that breaking the all-time Belgium goalscoring record after scoring against Japaan on Tuesday will spark a return to form for United.
Lukaku had previously been struggling in front of goal for his club, failing to score in his last four Premier League outings, but he is as short as 23/10 to grab the opener against the Magpies. Check out the latest first goalscorer odds before wagering on the match.
Newcastle’s last success at Old Trafford was a 1-0 victory back in 2013, so the 15/8 on offer for Man Utd to win both halves looks well worth an interest.
The visitors head into the game 11th in the table, but with just five points between them and 18th-placed West Ham United they will be desperate to pick up a positive result on Saturday.
Anyone who fancies Newcastle to repeat the 0-0 scoreline from their last trip to face United during the 2015/16 campaign would be rewarded with odds of 9/1, but it’s difficult to imagine the home side not finding the target this weekend.
Newcastle’s recent record against United won’t give their fans much confidence, with Rafa Benitez’s side winning just one of their last nine meetings with the Red Devils in all competitions.
Odds of 18/1 for the Magpies to repeat their 2013 heroics and pinch a 1-0 win will attract punters looking for a shock, especially with their last three games ending by that scoreline.
If Newcastle are to spring a surprise, striker Joselu could be worth a look at 12/1 to bag the first goal. The Spaniard has scored twice in the Premier League this term, but he will hope to take advantage of Jones’ possible absence from the home side’s line-up.
United are strongly fancied to come out on top this weekend and they should be the cornerstone of any doubles or trebles. The home side (-2) are priced at 21/10 and that could also pay dividends.