Manchester United will return to Premier League action this weekend with a home outing against Newcastle United. The Red Devils are presently eight points behind league leaders Manchester City, and the festive schedule presents a chance to close the gap on their cross-town rivals.
Since October, Jose Mourinho’s men have won just one of their four league outings, and the Portuguese tactician will expect a better performance in the coming months – now that the likes of Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini are back in full training.
Spain international David de Gea could not bag a clean sheet in the recent 1-0 defeat at Chelsea, but he is still the undisputed first-choice at Old Trafford. The 26-year-old has yet to concede a goal in front of his home fans.
Phil Jones remains an injury doubt with a muscular problem sustained on international duty. As a result, Axel Tuanzube could be offered his first league appearance of the season alongside Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling.
Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young have been regulars in the right wing-back and left wing-back positions respectively, and they could be fancied to start in their positions against Rafa Benitez’s side.
Onto the midfield, Ander Herrera could make way for Marouane Fellaini. The Belgium international made a second-half appearance versus Chelsea where he almost scored the equaliser, and he could now feature from the off alongside Nemanja Matic.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan looked out of touch during the month of October, and Mourinho could be tempted to offer Jesse Lingard with the number 10 role, behind strike duo Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku.
Predicted Lineup: David de Gea, Axel Tuanzebe, Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling, Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young, Nemanja Matic, Marouane Fellaini, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku