Home News Manchester United v Newcastle: Premier League – live | Premier League

Manchester United v Newcastle: Premier League – live | Premier League

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Manchester United v Newcastle: Premier League – live | Premier League

Key events

“Has the particularly obnoxious banner displayed at Old Trafford been amended to read ‘Not arrogant, just eighth’?” asks Richard Hirst.

“Why on earth not play Kambwala?” emails Tim Stappard. “Bonkers”.

Does seem to be a strange one, particularly against this pacy attack. And it’s not as though Jonny Evans is jet-heeled.

Newcastle manager Eddie Howe talks:

We’ve got two massive games. We’re going to need to be very good today. [European qualification] is close, but also very far away.

Trippier creates goals, attacks. His technical ability is of the highest level. He’s not trained much but he’s in a good condition to play.

Pleased to say that we’re not due for another downpour tonight in Manchester, although there might be some light drizzle closer to kick-off. Classic.

State of Old Trafford’s disrepair evident as water floods Manchester United’s stadium – video

This is a fascinating story, and long overdue. Thank goodness that someone has put their head above the parapet – well done Wolves. VAR is a complete shambles and fundamentally takes the joy out of football. This is a game, and it’s more important for it to be fun than for it to be forensically accurate.

Should also flag that this isn’t the only Premier League game tonight. Chelsea, who are seventh and in excellent form (one Arsenal result aside), travel to Brighton. That’s a 7.45pm BST kick-off, and I’ll keep you abreast of the latest on the south coast.

Someone else lurking on the sidelines is Newcastle’s Nick Pope. This is his third game on the bench since his return from long-term injury – the goalkeeper suffered a freak shoulder injury in tonight’s return fixture in a 1-0 win over Manchester United on 2 December. He is undoubtedly Newcastle’s No 1.

Whatever the injury situation is, it’s a sad state of affairs for United fans to have Casemiro and Evans at centre back. Ten Hag has spent over £400m since coming in, and this squad has cost £1.2bn …

Interesting comments from Ten Hag. It’s not clear who will lead the line for Manchester United tonight, probably Bruno Fernandes as a false nine. The Portuguese missed the defeats to Crystal Palace and Arsenal, remember.

Marcus Rashford hasn’t played since the FA Cup semi-final against Coventry on 21 April and he makes the bench tonight. Lisandro Martínez also is in reserve, the Argentinian has played just one match since 4 February. He has been a big miss and part of the reason that Casemiro partners Evans tonight again at centre back. Have to say I’m surprised to see the Brazilian back there again after the shambles against Arsenal. Isak, Gordon and Murphy will be licking their lips.

Erik ten Hag speaks:

You have seen, the last games, we have academy players on the bench. Now we have players that can make the difference if they come on. They want to fight for this club.

On Hojlund being rested

We want to keep him fresh. It’s a long season for the young players. We have Brighton, we have a cup final.

Who will play up front instead?

You will see. Everything is possible [he says coyly with a smile]

On Casemiro starting at centre back.

He played some good games, some downfalls. Obviously in the last game [against Arsenal] there was a bad moment. We know he can do the job, so he has to do the job.

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The teams!

Manchester United: Onana, Wan-Bissaka, Casemiro, Evans, Dalot, Mainoo, Amrabat, Diallo, McTominay, Garnacho, Bruno Fernandes.
Subs: Bayindir, Martinez, Rashford, Hojlund, Eriksen, Antony, Kambwala, Forson, Collyer.

Newcastle: Dubravka, Trippier, Krafth, Burn, Hall, Longstaff, Bruno Guimaraes, Anderson, Jacob Murphy, Isak, Gordon.
Subs: Dummett, Schar, Joelinton, Ritchie, Barnes, Pope, Almiron, White, Alex Murphy.

Referee: Robert Jones (Merseyside)

Preamble

What a funny predicament. Neither Manchester United (8th) nor Newcastle (6th) can reach the top four. Both would, one suspects, quite like to be in the Europa League (in which they need to finish 5th or 6th) – with the shiny prizes of European silverware and Champions League qualification for next season’s victors – but a spot in the Conference League (7th) is probably too much of a hassle. There’s not much grandeur in Europe’s third-tier competition, even for the two Uniteds, and there’s a good chance that a superfluous European campaign could (further?!) derail next season’s Premier League campaign. Newcastle will guarantee European football of some sort with a win tonight. Should Manchester United fail to win, they are almost certainly out of contention for any European qualification.

But as Spurs learned last night, rather than try to manoeuvre around the many permutations that may or may not be in your hands, the best move is simply to try and win all of your games, see what happens and live with the hand you are dealt.

Erik ten Hag is walking a very fine line indeed, and needs all the good PR he can get. A win for the Reds tonight would certainly help.

So, there isn’t much on the line tonight, apart from European qualification and potentially someone’s job, but I’m pleased you are here regardless.

Kick-off: 7pm BST.

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