Manchester United face Newcastle United tonight at St. James’s Park in a vital Premier League encounter.
The Red Devils’ last game was a narrow 1-0 victory over Norwich City on December 11.
Since then, United have not played a single game due to the recent COVID outbreak among the squad and staff members.
During this time, teams like Manchester City, Arsenal, and Tottenham have accumulated points in their respective games. The race for the Champions League places is heating up, with plenty of teams in the mix.
United will be looking to take advantage of their favourable run of fixtures over the next few weeks to gather the maximum number of points before their tough run in March.
🆚 Manchester United's next eight Premier League fixtures:
Aston Villa (A)
West Ham (H)
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) December 21, 2021
Tonight they face a Newcastle side that is battling against relegation. Having won just one game so far, Eddie Howe’s side will need a miraculous turnaround to stay in the division next season.
The Magpies have the worst defensive record in the league, conceding 41 goals so far.
Newcastle’s new owners will be looking to flex their financial muscles this January transfer window; hence the timing of this fixture benefits United.
The two teams’ previous clash this season was marked by Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford, in which he scored a brace.
Man Utd manager Ralf Rangnick gave a positive update regarding this squad situation after the forced break.
In his pre-match press conference, he stated: “We trained on Tuesday, yesterday and today, and we have 25 field players — he’s [Pogba] the only one missing out. Everyone else is on board. The development of the last week is extremely positive.”
Rangnick: "We trained on Tuesday, yesterday and today and we have 25 field players — he's [Pogba] the only one missing out, everyone else is on board. The development of the last week is extremely positive." #mulive
— utdreport (@utdreport) December 23, 2021
From having 11 players in total available last week, he now has an almost fully fit squad to select from, with the sole exception of Paul Pogba.
— utdreport (@utdreport) December 26, 2021
From a Newcastle point of view, Isaac Hayden will be out due to suspension. Emile Krafth, Javier Manquilo and Jonjo Shelvey remain doubts for selection tonight.