27 December 2019
Manchester United welcome the resurgent Newcastle United side to Old Trafford, hoping to return to winning ways in the Premier League (PL) following a recent dip in form.
Rocked by a dismal 2-0 away defeat to rock-bottom Watford, the hosts will now try to halt a two-game winless PL streak (D1, L1) and possibly reduce a seven-point gap on fourth-placed Chelsea. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has plenty of reasons to look for a positive outcome here. The Red Devils have won 20 league games on Boxing Day and have also swept Newcastle aside in three of their previous four PL home H2Hs (W3, D1), scoring at least three goals in each of those triumphs. What’s more, United have racked up a 12-game unbeaten run at home in all competitions (W7, D5) ever since a 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace back in August. Notably, five of those successes were followed by a clean sheet, while another five saw them score 2+ match goals. Slow starts in the recent period could trouble Solskjaer here, as Manchester conceded the opener in two of their last three PL home matches, subsequently failing to turn those games around (D2).
As for the visitors, they have overseen an upturn in results recently, picking up three wins in their previous four PL outings (W3, L1). Only one of those four fixtures has featured over 2.5 goals and witnessed both teams score, with three of them seeing the exact 0-0 score at halftime. Interestingly, none of Newcastle’s nine PL road trips this season has finished in a stalemate (W3, D6), with only two of those matches seeing them score two or more goals. The fact that the Magpies shipped over 1.5 match goals in five of those nine league trips will hardly boost their chances of improving the worst Boxing Day record. No team has suffered more defeats on Boxing Day than Newcastle (13). Also, the last time they’ve managed to walk away from Old Trafford with three points was in 2013, which was also their sole PL success at this venue in the 21st century (W1, D4, L12).
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