In past seasons Newcastle vs Manchester United would have been considered a clash of the titans. Sky would have had it on one of their marquee “Showdown Sunday” soccer extraganza’s. These days, United tends to steamroller through the Tyneside club as if Alan Pardew had tried it on during the first date with Manchester United’s daughter.
With a win tonight, United can again take the pressure off Arsenal so that they can go back into that position they most enjoy: nine points behind without as much as a murmuring about a trophy. United can now welcome back talismanic striker Wayne Rooney, who returns after his ban for launching a rant at a camera. What has Sony ever done to you Wayne?
Should Rooney score, which he probably will looking at the Magpies’ defence, it will complete the yearly turn-around in his season.
It goes a little something like this. You have the scandal – whether it be a transfer, brothels run but women old enough to be his grandma, or smoking insane amounts of tobacco. Then there’ll be an injury, followed by a spike in his form, before the virtuoso end to the season is often plighted by another injury.
The game is also a replay of the opening fixture of the season and there aren’t many clubs who have seen upheaval on the scale of the home side. A new manager, loss of a star striker, and £35million coming into the club has happened since the game at Old Trafford. The Toon Army are relatively safe on 39 points and would guarantee survival with a victory here.
A loss for United could have all kinds of repercussions but as far as teams to play after losing to your nearest rivals, Newcastle is right up there.