Newcastle v Man United: Pressure to mount on Solskjær

One of the classic Premier League era fixtures takes place at St James' Park on Saturday night and Paul Robinson is expecting Newcastle to take a point off Manchester United.

Newcastle v Man United
Saturday 17 October, 20:00
Live on Sky Sports Box Office

Wilson settling in well on Tyneside

The Magpies have made a solid enough start to the season, winning two of their four Premier League fixtures, and only losing to Brighton. They did exit the Carabao Cup against Newport, and while the competition was their lowest priority, it was also their best chance of a trophy - something that the supporters crave more than anything.

Steve Bruce has bought wisely over the summer, with new striker, Callum Wilson, hitting the ground running. The former Bournemouth man has four in four for Newcastle, but it's worth noting that two of them were penalties.

As far as the team news goes, Bruce has a bit of an advantage over his counterpart here, as seven of the XI that started in their 3-1 win over Burnley weren't on international duty. The manager did have a few injury issues in defence to contend with, but he will be hoping that the break will have been enough time for Jamaal Lascelles to return to fitness.

United at a crossroads

Ole Gunnar Solskjær will have been pleased that the international break came when it did. Their three match winning streak - albeit two in the cup - came to a screeching end against Spurs, which was a result that left the manager under real pressure.

Harry Maguire's troubles didn't get any easier when he was on international duty, and it will be interesting to see if Solskjær takes him out of the limelight on Saturday. My feeling is no, and if anyone's place in defence is at risk it has to be Luke Shaw.

Anthony Martial is suspended, and with Edinson Cavani not fit, it could be Marcus Rashford that starts in the number nine position. There are other options, but that is probably the best one.

Visitors far too short at odds-on

Manchester United at the 1.71 favourites for this fixture and that is certainly not a price I am interested in backing. It is far too short for me, and it's worth remembering that they have already lost two of their three league matches this term. Even their win was a very fortuitous one at Brighton.

A home win is trading at around the [5.4[ mark on the Betfair Exchange, but I am not convinced by that either. The hosts haven't performed well at St James' Park in the behind closed doors era - playing seven and winning just two.

The draw appeals to me at odds of 4.2. It's a result that actually hasn't occurred between these two since 2016, but I really am struggling to split them this weekend.

Wilson will be relishing the likely battle with a low on confidence, Maguire, and Allan Saint-Maximin is a handful for any defence - especially one which have just conceded six goals.

Steve Bruce's men have already drawn with Spurs this season, so they have proven their ability to get a result against a warm favourite, and United have already let down odds-on backers against Palace.

A goal at both ends but that might be it

When it comes to goals, I can certainly see both teams scoring. That particular bet is available to back at 1.79 on the Exchange, and I really couldn't put anyone off it.

When it comes to the more traditional Over/Under 2.5 Goals, the former is the favourite at 1.8, with the latter at 2.2. I think that's about right, as Overs backers would have collected in two of Newcastle's four league games so far this term, and all three of United's,

That being said, this should be a relatively tight affair, and I am not prepared to take practically the same price on Over 2.5 as I am on BTTS. A 1-1 scoreline is much more likely than 3-0 or above, either way.

Kay Opta Stat

After a 14-game unbeaten run to finish the 2019-20 season, Man Utd have lost two of their three Premier League games so far this season. They've not lost as many as three of their opening four league games in a campaign since 1986-87.

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