Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s return to Old Trafford has been nothing short of spectacular. Three wins from his first three games has completely turned around the fortunes of the club, although by his own admission this has been down to the team who seem to be working harder for their manager and playing with a freedom that has seen them find the back of the net on no less than 12 occasions during this time. A trip to Newcastle will be a stern test for United despite “The Magpies” struggles. Rafa Benitez will lift his troops for the big occasion and will make life tough for the visitors. Form Labs bring you their betting preview and tips for the game and iof you are after some more value then check out our enhanced odds for the New Year Premier League games.
United Defensive Problems On The Road
Manchester United might have won emphatically at the Cardiff City Stadium in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first game in charge, but the Bluebirds were particularly poor that day and it was the first time the Red Devils have managed to put more than two past an opponent on their travels.
Their defensive problems this season have been well documented however and as a result, both teams have found the net in all but one of their 10 road trips, with United conceding as many as three times on four occasions.
Solsjaer Has Made A Big Impact
Solskjaer can’t change that overnight, while his previous stint in the Premier League saw his Cardiff side ship 42 goals in just 18 games, which hardly suggests he’ll be the man to take on the challenge of rebuilding the defence long term.
What Solsjaer has changed since he took charge is the attitude of his star plays who are now playing for their manager and the pride for being a United player.
Paul Pogba with four goals and three assists in the last three games, will have the United faithful smiling again and hopeful that they can chase down a top four finish.
Newcastle Struggles Against Big Six
Newcastle have lost all six encounters with the ‘Big Six’ to date, though only their recent capitulation against a barnstorming Liverpool saw them lose out by more than one goal. Indeed, they came close to an upset at Old Trafford before a late turnaround, while they lost each of the other four matches 2-1.
In fact, the Magpies have only lost by more than a single goal once in nine matches hosting ‘Big Six’ opponents since the start of last season, which came in a 2-0 defeat on the opening day of 2017/18 as Jonjo Shelvey saw red after 48 minutes with the game still level at that stage.
United Should Take All The Points
United appear a decent price to take all three points with the wind back in their sails, while Newcastle could be entering a potentially tricky period as they must face Chelsea, City and Spurs before the 2nd February, as well as hosting Cardiff in a six-pointer during this spell.
The atmosphere around the club will likely grow increasingly toxic with Rafa Benitez six months from the end of his contract and no funds in sight, while the Spaniard has never been one to shy away from board room disputes.
United’s positive attitude should carry them through, though given Newcastle are usually able to keep it tight under current management, the winning margin could prove profitable, while we’ll also have a small wager on the 2-1 correct score.
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