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Man Utd v Newcastle Utd – EPL 22 August 2015

Man Utd have had a much better start to their second season under manager Louis van Gaal, winning their first two games with 1-0 score-lines against Tottenham and Aston Villa, respectively. For all of the concern expressed toward the Man Utd defence, they have provided the bedrock for the Reds unbeaten start to the season.

Despite missing out on Premier League promotion with Derby County and ultimately losing his job, Steve McClaren was rewarded with the Newcastle Utd manager’s job by chairman Mike Ashley. Fans felt relatively optimistic after earning a 2-2 home draw against Southampton, but disappointment returned on Saturday when the Magpies lost 2-0 away to Swansea City, with fullback Daryl Janmaat sent off.

Expectations

Louis van Gaal is still testing out his options while trying to find his best XI. In that sense, he appears to be undecided on whether he prefers 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3. Comparatively, the Reds seemed more vulnerable to the pace of Aston Villa when they played 4-2-3-1. Against tougher sides than Villa, Man Utd might be wiser to play with three in the centre of the park.

Man Utd are unlikely to find Newcastle to be as tough as Tottenham or Aston Villa. This will give them a welcome opportunity to refine their approach and improve in attack, as they have lacked fluidity outside of Juan Mata. And after playing Villa, Wayne Rooney was derided for his almost non-existent performance.

Steve McClaren’s arrival at Newcastle is unlikely to trigger some era of glory for the Magpies. In all honesty, the former English manager could end up losing his job in the next two seasons. Once described as the “Wally with the brolly,” McClaren does have an Eredivisie title to his name, but has endured more failures than successes.

McClaren does have enough talent to thrive with Newcastle in the Premier League, but he should be expected to struggle for the next few weeks.

Match Tips

Tip one: Both teams to score @ 2.00
Tip two: Man Utd to win and both teams to score @ 3.00

Man Utd were fortunate not to concede against Aston Villa. Look to Newcastle striker Papiss Cissé as a possible goal-source.