Having fallen 12 points behind leaders Arsenal, Manchester United face Newcastle United on Saturday in what is a must-win game for the reigning champions.
Manager David Moyes saw former club Everton take all three points with a late strike on Wednesday, and with his side in ninth place, they now face a seriously uphill task if they are to retain their Premier League crown, and even their chances of finishing in the top four are being called into question. Add to that a one-match ban for Wayne Rooney and a niggling injury to Robin van Persie, and it is obvious that Man Utd are in a spot of bother.
Newcastle’s winning run came to an end with a fairly comprehensive defeat at Swansea City, on a frustrating night for Alan Pardew. As a result, they are still a point clear of their opponents, and they may fancy their chances of becoming the third visiting team to win at Old Trafford this season, especially with hosts missing several key players.
Moyes is unsure of a return date for van Persie, and with Rooney having picked up five yellow cards, he could turn to Javier Hernandez to lead the line. Midfielder Michael Carrick is likely to be out until the New Year.
The visitors will be hoping that defender Paul Dummett and long-term absentee Jonas Gutierrez can return after playing for the reserves in the week. Hatem Ben Arfa should return after illness kept out of the trip to Swansea.
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