Following another defeat last weekend, this time at the hands of Leicester City, it’s becoming more and more difficult to remain positive about Newcastle United’s hopes of winning. However, this weekend Newcastle face Manchester United who have also had their fair share of drama and struggles this season.
After picking up a positive away point against Crystal Palace in matchday 6, last weekend was yet another setback for the Magpies.
It’s come to the point where I can’t seem to avoid mentioning that Newcastle are still searching for their first win; and following last weekend’s loss it remains the focus for the Tyneside club.
Both teams missed chances in the early stages of the match. The deadlock was broken when Leicester won a penalty in the 29th minute, which Jamie Vardy confidently converted. Newcastle had a penalty claim of their own waved away after Ayoze Perez turned in the box and was held back by Harry Maguire. Maguire would then make the headlines again in the second half. The English centre-back headed home from a corner to double Leicester’s lead in the second half, a lead that Leicester would hold until the final whistle.
Meanwhile, their opponents Manchester United travelled down to the London Stadium to face West Ham. The Hammers took the lead through Felipe Anderson converting Pablo Zabaleta’s cross in the 5th minute. West Ham took a 2-0 lead just before half time after Andriy Yarmolenko’s shot deflected in from the edge of the box.
Marcus Rashford pulled one back for United with a terrific back-heeled effort from a corner, but West Ham would quickly regain their two-goal lead and seal the win when Marko Arnautovic was left unmarked and played through by Mark Noble. Arnautovic had a one-on-one chance against De Gea and finished from close range.
Goal scoring struggles:
The Magpies are averaging 0.57 goals a game this season after only managing to find the back of the net four times in the league this season. They have scored the second least amount of goals in the league this season, only ahead of Huddersfield (3) and level with Cardiff City (4).
After seven league games Newcastle have only had three different goal scorers this season, and despite bringing in two new strikers this summer, two of these goal scorers have been defenders. Joselu is the only player to have found the net more than once in the league so far this season, while Ayoze Perez, Salomon Rondon and Yoshinori Muto are still awaiting their first goals of the season.
Despite signing both Rondon and Muto this summer, Newcastle have been missing a reliable goal scorer so far this season. Although they have conceded two goals in five different games this season, they are conceding less goals on average per game (1.43) then their opponents, Manchester United (1.71), who are currently in the top half of the table. Clearly, then, Newcastle desperately need to start scoring more goals if they intend to pick up their form this season.
Although Manchester United have themselves endured a fairly rough start to the season, including failing to win in their last four home games, I can’t see Newcastle leaving Old Trafford with a result. Clearly the pressure is being piled on Mourinho and the United team, and after a 0-0 draw in the Champions League earlier this week you can only imagine they will be desperate to win in front of their own fans. Although I believe that Newcastle will more than likely have their fair share of chances and that Manchester United may be disappointed with their overall performance, I’m predicting that their overall quality and will to win at Old Trafford will be enough for Manchester United to win.
Manchester United predicted line-up: De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Lindelof, Shaw; Pogba, Fred, Matic, Rashford, Lukaku, Martial.
Newcastle predicted line-up: Dubravka; Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Kenedy; Ritchie, Shelvey, Diame, Atsu; Perez, Joselu.
Predicted final score: Manchester United 2 – 0 Newcastle United