Manchester United vs Newcastle – Match Preview

Most Newcastle fans are looking at this game tonight at Old Trafford against Manchester United with perhaps just a little bit of trepidation.

But this is really a success story for Newcastle United, who returned to the top flight of English football last season, with some top performances and a new willingness to fight in every single game.

Tonight will be no different but the opposition is just a little bit better than last season – to say the very least. 😀

And the start of the season is no different to last season, when we didn’t really know what to expect from a proud Newcastle club, that had been completely ravaged by the disaster that was relegation.

With Sol Campbell not yet fit, and injuries to Steven Taylor, Dan Gosling, Danny Simpson and Leon Best, this is the probable team Chris Hughton will field tonight in a 4-5-1 system.

Perch Williamson Coloccini Enrique
Routledge Nolan (c) Barton Guthrie Gutierrez
Subs: Krul Taylor (R) Smith Lovenkrands Ameobi Vuckic Ranger

One possible change to that team is former Red Devil Alan Smith in for Danny Guthrie,  but it looks like Newcastle will start with just one out-and-out striker in Andy Carroll – if fit – and the Danish International Peter Loevnkrands will start this game on the bench.

This is the side that Chris Hughton started at Glasgow Rangers nine day ago, in our final pre-season friendly when we went down 2-1 to the Scottish side.

In pre-season we won one, drew one and lost two, but pre-season is never a good judge of how the team will do in the first few games of a new season.

But the Newcastle defense will have to be at their very best tonight,  if Newcastle are to make it a close game, although nobody really expects the Magpies to get anything out of this game – but stranger things have happened of course.

And indeed two years ago the lads got a creditable draw 1-1 in the corresponding fixture.

That was when manager Kevin Keegan was still in charge, and it seems like almost 10 years have past since that time – at least in terms of  the things that have happened to the Newcastle club – mostly negative.

But since we don’t want to become too depressed on our re-entry to the Premier League, we’re not even going to go through the litany of mistakes that were made at the club .

For Newcastle fans, here is the starting Newcastle side for that game two year ago:

Beye  Coloccini  Taylor(S)  N’Zogbia
Milner Duff  Guthrie Butt (c) Gutierrez
Subs:  Harper, Enrique, Geremi, Smith,  Edgar,  Bassong, Donaldson

So of the 18 man squad – 10 are gone – Given, Beye, N’Zogbia, Milner, Duff, Butt,  Martins, Geremi,  Edgar and Bassong – with Milner, Given and N’Zogbia looking to switch clubs again  very shortly.

Michael Owen was at the club at the time, but never fit and hardly earned his ridiculously high wages – but he’s left now too, and is now at the Red Devils of course.

Suffice to say that Newcastle and its famous fans are just delighted to be back with the big boys, and of course they don’t come any bigger than Manchester United.

Whether we can nick a surprise point (or three) has to be a little doubtful,  but not impossible.

It will be a success if Newcastle can compete well with the Red Devils, and we expect to see every single Newcastle player in a black and white shirt play their hearts out for the side tonight.

We’ve come to expect that of our lads, and we’d be surprised if they do not show that new terrific spirit, determination and pride in playing for Newcastle United, that has been so evident since Chris Hughton took over 13 months ago.

If they can do that – we’ll be happy enough – and then we can take Aston Villa apart this Sunday at a sold-out St. James’ Park.

Comments welcome.

45 comments so far

  • Solaidback

    Aug 16, 2010 at 4:09 PM

    Comment #1

    Ed mate, we actually won 1, drew 2 (but won one on penalties) lost 2 in preseason 🙁

    I still think we’re gonna get something from this, even if it’s only a leasson on how not to play against Manc Usa… lol 🙂

  • budmon

    Aug 16, 2010 at 4:11 PM

    Comment #2

    I agree with the predicted line up except start r. taylor instead of perch. we are really missing cover at the full back position. r. taylor is more deadly with crosses and played well in pre-season. give the boy a run out man.

    lets hope for a fight and a good performance. will be livid if the scoreline ends up like Chelski and WBA!

  • roy cropper

    Aug 16, 2010 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #3

    the mancs to win both halves @ 7/5 – not happy when we get blown away – but happy as a pig in shite when we collect our winnings.

  • crappy_punk

    Aug 16, 2010 at 4:13 PM

    Comment #4

    tidy betting on paddypower, if we come back and win at half time.

    150/1 says Man first half, NEwcastle to win.

    I got a fiver on it.


  • crappy_punk

    Aug 16, 2010 at 4:13 PM

    Comment #5

    seems to be tidy betting on paddypower, if we come back and win at half time.

    150/1 says Man first half, NEwcastle to win.

    I got a fiver on it.


  • toonsy

    Aug 16, 2010 at 4:14 PM

    Comment #6

    St James’ won’t sell-out for Villa. Those days have gone now. Too much water under the bridge with Ashley. Lack of investment. Lack of ceommercial opportunity….

  • Captain Beefheart

    Aug 16, 2010 at 4:16 PM

    Comment #7

    4-0 Man U – but the shock of the ‘cold sponge of Prem reality’ hitting us smack in the gob (and between the posts) might just about be enough to keep us up by next May, hopefully starting with a drab draw against Villa.

    It won’t be pretty, though….

  • zeetoon

    Aug 16, 2010 at 4:17 PM

    Comment #8


    if anyone wants to watch it online, is always there. there are like 10 links to different streams so if one lags u can try another one…

    2-1 to toon!!!!

  • wickywoowoo

    Aug 16, 2010 at 4:17 PM

    Comment #9

    I see the proposed line up in the article has no room for Xisco – a player we all acknowledge has skill (how much is a matter of personal opinion) and despite being in this third season for us, has played about 40 minutes in total.

    He seems able to play left wing or up front and is a total unknown to us nevermind Man Utd. I personally would think he is potentially a mystery sub that could get us a point.

    Man Utd will have a strategy for all our other attacking players but really will have no clue what Xisco is capable of or offers in terms of positional play.

  • Obafan

    Aug 16, 2010 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #10

    I hope we play with Lovenkrands uipfront instead of Carroll.

    Does anybody know more about the Arevalo or Fer business, cause I had to play a football tournament and didn’t follow the latest news over the weekend.

  • Newutd

    Aug 16, 2010 at 4:26 PM

    Comment #11

    They don’t need a strategy for Xisco.

  • toonsy

    Aug 16, 2010 at 4:27 PM

    Comment #12

    Lovenkrands will not get in the team ahead of Carroll. It will be Carroll on his own or both of them at the same time.

  • xfer

    Aug 16, 2010 at 4:39 PM

    Comment #13

    Thanks for link zeetoon.

    I placed my house on that line-up. It really picks itself once we know what formation CH tends to go away from home. I hope CH has a trick or two up his sleeve. Cant wait for the game!


  • AngerOfTheNorth

    Aug 16, 2010 at 4:42 PM

    Comment #14

    Hey Ed – admit it… It felt good to write a Premier League Game Preview, didn’t it..?

    As much as I’m interested in potential signings, they won’t be on the pitch for us tonight. So let’s concentrate on the big game – we’re back in the big time boys!

  • moonraker

    Aug 16, 2010 at 4:47 PM

    Comment #15

    they don’t need a strategy for our players except Andy Carroll and if we can give him good service he could be unplayable against their centre backs; Nolan will need to try to support him from midfield so he’s the key man tonight! Bring it on!!!:-)

  • Captain Beefheart

    Aug 16, 2010 at 4:49 PM

    Comment #16

    AOTN@14 ‘So let’s concentrate on the big game – we’re back in the big time boys!’

    Will someone remind Mr Ashley & Mr Llambias of his fact as well at some point. Preferably before we are propping up the table and 6 points adrift, thank you….

  • condren

    Aug 16, 2010 at 4:49 PM

    Comment #17

    Loverman upfront by himself??? May as well play with 10!!! Pack the midfield, get into them, shackle them and let Carroll upset their centre backs. Depending on score bring lov on as a 70min sub for a centre midfielder.

  • Marty-Toon

    Aug 16, 2010 at 4:52 PM

    Comment #18

    KK at his most passionate!
    I`ll love it if we beat them 🙂

  • JaydanGeordie

    Aug 16, 2010 at 4:52 PM

    Comment #19

    0-1 Carroll to get an 89th min winner.

  • Captain Beefheart

    Aug 16, 2010 at 4:55 PM

    Comment #20

    Beye Coloccini Taylor(S) N’Zogbia
    Milner Duff Guthrie Butt (c) Gutierrez

    It still looks a damned sight more dangerous than what we’ll have batting for us tonight. And yet this lot (minus Milner) was the core team that got relegated! Lordy, Lordy there’s a lot of sad folks gonna hit this blog in a few hours.

  • rknufc

    Aug 16, 2010 at 4:57 PM

    Comment #21

    @ 19 i agree and from a RAYLOR set peice

  • IronAndyCarroll

    Aug 16, 2010 at 5:00 PM

    Comment #22

    I think we will lose, but it won’t be the thumong that is being predicted. At least I hope not. This game is a write off in my book. Best hope to get off to a flyer against Villa at the weekend

  • Toon1978

    Aug 16, 2010 at 5:00 PM

    Comment #23

    Hope for a point tonight but as for transfers….well, NOTHING to say the least. All talk and no action. F..k Ashley and his cohorts.

  • geordielad880

    Aug 16, 2010 at 5:01 PM

    Comment #24

    The first 20 mins are key, we need to try and keep the ball ( i know thats harder than it sounds) if we keep just playing it long to carroll we will get stuffed, thats why i would rather have routledge playing off carroll, and play barton on right, its more compact, and we have a bit pace with routledge playing in the role nolan has

  • IronAndyCarroll

    Aug 16, 2010 at 5:05 PM

    Comment #25

    Moderation? What did I do wrong?

  • onlyoneshearer

    Aug 16, 2010 at 5:16 PM

    Comment #26

    thanks zee toon for the link!

    performance is so important today, be fantastic if we can show we can stand our ground in the prem once more.

    Man u are traditionally slow starters, we are still buzzing from promotion and being back in prem … anyone think we can pick up a point?

  • a.l 9

    Aug 16, 2010 at 5:17 PM

    Comment #27

    Captain Beefheart that team isn’t that much better, only realy Milner and Martins, the rest we either still have (and will have hopefully matured and/or gelled), or we have improved on them anyway.

  • stunna

    Aug 16, 2010 at 5:18 PM

    Comment #28

    I’d like to see R. Taylor instead of Perch. I also want Carroll upfront alone, with Nolan playing a little behind him. You probably see where I’m going with this, best chance of scoring being a set piece or cross.

    Agree that they should start off very defensive minded. I’m fine with Alan Smith starting in place of Guthrie & playing the enforcer role until he picks up a yellow.

  • toonsy

    Aug 16, 2010 at 5:19 PM

    Comment #29

    Man Utd are NOT slow starters. It is a myth. They have won 7 of the last 10 opening fixtures. If that is slow starting then sign me up for it!

  • geordielad880

    Aug 16, 2010 at 5:21 PM

    Comment #30

    I cant see any plus side for perch starting instead of ryan taylor, we need taylor for his dead ball delivery, cos i think thats the only way we can score tonight

  • a.l 9

    Aug 16, 2010 at 5:30 PM

    Comment #31

    I agree with stunna, we should play Taylor at RB. To be honest I don’t know why he doesn’t play there more often, none of our players a particulaly great in that posision but atleast Taylor is always pretty likely to grab an assist.

    Smith aswell instead of Guthrie, we need to stop Man U from playing and play a little dirty, Smith and Barton will rough them up a bit whilst hopefull remaining on the pitch, take either off for Guthrie in the 65th minute of so if they have picked up a yellow.

  • geordielad880

    Aug 16, 2010 at 5:37 PM

    Comment #32

    a.l 9 i agree about taylor, but smith doesnt have the pace to keep up with the man utd midfield, guthrie has a good engine, we need young legs in central midfield i think, we dont need to play dirty, we need to press the ball, and close them down, starting at the top with carroll, they all have to work hard, and give them no time on the ball, and frustrate them

  • a.l 9

    Aug 16, 2010 at 5:56 PM

    Comment #33

    Smith won’t need pace, infact I don’t know many genuine DM’s who are known for there pace, he just needs to sit infront of the defence and kick the fook out there attack.

  • Mac

    Aug 16, 2010 at 6:22 PM

    Comment #34

    Man u midfield and pace don’t really go. Giggs and Scholes aren’t that quick anymore Carrick has never been quick. And to all those people banging on about how bad we are and the lack of signings,if you’re not happy about the team F*ck off and support someone else.

  • mattnufc

    Aug 16, 2010 at 6:25 PM

    Comment #35

    5-0 Man Utd 🙁

  • jimiley

    Aug 16, 2010 at 6:26 PM

    Comment #36

    We will put five across the midfield and smother the life out of them. Smudger and Nolan to rip into them. A late goal for the Toon will win it.

  • Tom Mo.

    Aug 16, 2010 at 6:35 PM

    Comment #37


  • geordielad880

    Aug 16, 2010 at 6:36 PM

    Comment #38

    I think it will come down to the first part of the game, if we can keep it tight for the first 3o mins, and frustrate them, who knows what will happen, if we concede early, i think it could be a hiding, i dont want to see us sitting back and letting them play in front of us

  • Obafan

    Aug 16, 2010 at 6:46 PM

    Comment #39

    @Geordielad post n°36: It is indeed very important to hold a clean sheet for as long as possible; if they score within the first 20 minutes it will be very difficult.

    Normally we will lose, but I hope to see a good performance from the team. And then tomorrow hopefully a couple of signings:
    1. Ben Arfa
    2. Arevalo or Fer (prefer Arevalo)

  • geordielad880

    Aug 16, 2010 at 6:52 PM

    Comment #40

    prefer averalo, are you crazy an average uruguay player, who they cant give away, or one of europes top talents, he is up there with the best, and could be anything, will be worth 4 times his value now in 3 years time, he has everything, and how can you possibly comment on arevalo, you cant have seen him much, considering the team he plays for


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