Fellaini To Start, Pogba Still Out – Strongest 4-2-3-1 Manchester United Line-up To Face Newcastle United

Predicted Manchester United Line-up To Face Newcastle United In The Premier League

Manchester United need to pick up the pace now if they literally tend to catch Manchester City in the title race. Two defeats in last three Premier League fixtures haven’t supported their cause even a bit and it is safe to say the title is now slipping away. The Citizens have extended their lead to 8 points now, hence the upcoming fixture against Newcastle is a must-win game for the Devils.

The Magpies, on the other hand, have endured a difficult run of late, given that they have managed just 5 points in their past 6 league fixtures. It remains an important game for both the teams, hence we can expect an intense footballing battle. When it comes to numbers, it is Manchester United who have the upper hand, having beaten the Magpies on 83 occasions, while losing 41 times, with 39 matches ending in a stalemate.

Jose Mourinho, in particular, will have that intense headache while choosing the starting XI. A number of players have returned to first-team training, but it remains to be seen whether they will be declared match fit or not. Having said that, here we take a look at how the Portuguese gaffer might line his team up:

Probable Man United XI

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Manager: Jose Mourinho

Goalkeeper: David de Gea

Absolutely no doubt about it! Till date, United have conceded just 5 goals in the league and while our defence deserves a credit, de Gea too deserves a partial mention. Time and again the Spaniard has come to the rescue and United will be hoping he stays in a similar vein of form.

David De Gea

Defenders: Valencia, Bailly, Smalling, Young

A disappointment for Antonio Valencia on the international scale, but United will want him to keep the scar behind. The 32-year-old remains United’s vital member and will most probably be up against Matt Ritchie, who again, is in top form this season.

Jose Mourinho blasted Gareth Southgate’s decision to pick an injured Phil Jones for the international friendly. The former Blackburn man picked up a calf problem during England’s 0-0 draw against Germany and Mourinho has confirmed he will miss the fixture. Having said that, it is all but certain that Bailly and Smalling will be Mourinho’s first choice.

The left-back spot is is tricky, but I expect Mourinho to go with Ashley Young. Blind and Matteo Darmian remain other contenders, but given Young’s consistency, I expect him to start.

Eric Bailly

Holding Midfield: Matic, Fellaini

Matic is a sure starter without the slightest of doubts. But what Mourinho might change is his partner. Fellaini hasn’t started a game since mid-October but came back as a substitute against Chelsea. Furthermore, Mourinho, finally, has a couple of options to choose from for the spot, given that Michael Carrick is fit again and Ander Herrera is an option as well. But I expect Mourinho to give Fellaini a nod along with Matic. Pogba is fit and might feature from the bench.

Attacking Trio: Mata, Mkhitaryan, Martial

These three M’s are capable of wreaking havoc, if and only if they are in form. Mata’s last start came against Huddersfield town and since his error, he has been dropped from the squad. Given that he is Manchester United’s most creative outlay alongside Henrikh Mkhitaryan, expect Mourinho to give him the nod.

Mkhitaryan, on the other hand, was completely anonymous against Chelsea and the fact that he only played 6 passes to Romelu Lukaku on the night only goes on to prove the point. The Armenian started the season perfectly but has eventually faded away. United will need him to be at his best against the Magpies.

Romelu Lukaku

The left flank remains the most bewildered spot for Mourinho, but given that Martial performed exceptionally well for France recently, expect him to start.

Striker: Romelu Lukaku

Absolutely no doubt about this as well. The Belgian hasn’t scored a goal in his last four Premier League outings for Manchester United, and the club needs him to be at his best. His performance for Belgium in the recent international break, though, will be a big boost of confidence for the striker.