Preview: Man Utd v Newcastle

Manchester United will take on Newcastle United on Thursday (Boxing Day) in the Premier League at Old Trafford. The match will be shown at 12:30 pm ET in the US, and at 17:30 GMT in the UK. Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hinted he will start Paul Pogba in the Boxing Day clash with Newcastle United, providing the Frenchman came through the match at Watford unscathed.

Pogba’s return to the XI could provide a timely boost after the disappointing defeat to the Hornets and the manager admits it is “great to have him back”.

The World Cup winner’s creativity and influence in midfield may help the Reds break down teams that are sitting deep, something that has proved to be a challenge this term.

 said Ole, when speaking to the media at Vicarage Road on Sunday.

“He did really well when he came on. It’s a big, big plus and it might be that we do get him in from the start [against Newcastle] because you just want to get more and more [quality] into the team when he plays.

“He can play anywhere. He can play as a holding midfielder, he’s a box-to-box midfielder. He can drop deep, get it, play those long passes, he can play higher up and combine like he did [at Watford]. He and Anthony [Martial] and Marcus [Rashford] started creating chances down that side so it depends on the game.

Jamaal Lascelles, Matt Ritchie, Ki Sung-yueng and Allan Saint-Maximin are all sidelined for the Tynesiders, who beat us 1-0 in the reverse fixture at St James’ Park, with a goal by Matty Longstaff.

“It’s going to be difficult to break Newcastle down,” admitted Solskjaer, ahead of the game that will be shown live on Amazon Prime Video.

“I expect that we’ll get the fair share of the possession. We were disappointed when we had more than 70 per cent possession up there and we lost the game [earlier in the season].”

Ole is determined he will see a reaction from his players on a day that is traditionally a special occasion for the supporters.

“One of the good things about the team this year, we have reacted well after bad results,“ he said.

“We haven’t kept the consistency as we’d like the other way, but we’ve also not gone on a big run like we did towards the end of last season. So there will be a reaction definitely.”


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