Man Utd vs Newcastle Prediction and Preview | Opta Analyst

Erik ten Hag’s men walk out at Old Trafford for the final time this season. Look ahead to the game with our Man Utd vs Newcastle prediction and preview.

Man Utd vs Newcastle Stats: The Quick Hits

  • The Opta supercomputer makes Man Utd favourites, despite their poor form, winning 42.9% of the pre-match simulations.
  • Man Utd will record their poorest-ever Premier League points total this season if they lose either of their two final games.
  • Newcastle could become the first English team since Manchester City between 2013 and 2014 to beat Man Utd four times in a row (all competitions).

Match Preview

Manchester United have two matches to prevent 2023-24 from being their worst Premier League season ever, starting with Wednesday’s visit of Newcastle to Old Trafford.

United head into their penultimate game of the campaign sitting eighth in the table with just 54 points and a goal difference of -4. The lowest they’ve finished in the Premier League era is seventh in 2013-14, their poorest points total was 58 in 2021-22, and not since 1989-90 in the old Division One have they finished with a negative goal difference.

It’s entirely possible they could set new Premier League lows in all three areas, and if they lose their last two matches, United might even finish as low as 10th.

Make no mistake, this has been a difficult season for United and their under-pressure manager Erik ten Hag, who appears increasingly unlikely to still be in charge next term.

If he does end up being replaced, Wednesday’s game will be his last at Old Trafford as United boss. It’s hardly been a case of home, sweet home in 2023-24, though, as their nine home defeats in all competitions this term is the joint most they’ve ever suffered in a single season. Lose on Wednesday and Ten Hag will have himself an unwanted record.

Newcastle manager Eddie Howe doesn’t have a good record on away days in Manchester, though. In 14 trips to United and Manchester City, he’s not won a single match; only Steve Bruce (26) has managed more away games against the two Manchester clubs without ever winning.

Nevertheless, there’s little doubt which of the two teams is in better shape at the moment. United have won just one of their last 10 matches across all competitions inside the regulation 90 minutes, and that was against relegated Sheffield United on 24 April. Even then they needed two goals in the last nine minutes to see the Blades off.

Newcastle, on the other hand, have won five and lost just one of their past eight Premier League fixtures, form that has seen them overtake United. They could yet usurp Tottenham and finish fifth if Spurs lose their last two games.

Throughout the season, Ten Hag has maligned United’s injury problems, and it is a legitimate frustration, especially with regards to how they’ve impacted their defence. More recently, though, the crisis has even spread to the usually reliable Bruno Fernandes.

He has missed their last two matches, defeats to Crystal Palace and Arsenal, meaning United have won 40% of their league games and averaged 1.3 points per game when he hasn’t started compared to a 53% win rate and 1.8 points per game when he has been in their starting XI since his debut for the club.

Fernandes and Marcus Rashford are expected to face late fitness tests to determine whether they can feature against Newcastle, while Amad Diallo is a doubt after bruising his knee against Arsenal. Mason Mount missed that game and appears unlikely to be in contention for Wednesday, but Lisandro Martínez could feature if Ten Hag decides to risk him.

Victor Lindelof, Anthony Martial, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Tyrell Malacia and Raphaël Varane, who confirmed on Tuesday that he’s leaving at the end of the season, will all be absent.

As for Newcastle’s team news, Howe will be without long-term absentees Sandro Tonali, Sven Botman, Jamaal Lascelles, Joe Willock, Lewis Miley and Matt Targett. Callum Wilson and Alexander Isak face fitness tests, while this game is likely to come just too soon for Fabian Schär.

Man Utd vs Newcastle Head-to-Head

Man Utd have lost just one of their 28 Premier League home games against Newcastle (W18 D9), going down 1-0 in December 2013 under David Moyes.

Nevertheless, it’s been a different story more recently when looking beyond just the Premier League. Newcastle have won each of their last three meetings with United in all competitions, as many as in their previous 21 beforehand (D4 L14). The last English team to win four in a row against the Red Devils were Manchester City between 2013 and 2014.

Furthermore, Newcastle won those three games without conceding a single goal; they last won four on the bounce against the Red Devils in 1907 (a run of five).

Two of the Newcastle victories in question occurred earlier this season, including a 3-0 win at Old Trafford in the EFL Cup. United haven’t lost three times to the same team in a single campaign since doing so to Chelsea in 2012-13, while the Blues were also the last team to beat them twice away from home in a season (2004-05).

However, Howe hasn’t won at Old Trafford in the Premier League in six attempts, only managing more games at Anfield, the Etihad Stadium and the Emirates Stadium without ever winning in the top flight (eight each).

Recent Form

As already highlighted, United are on a wretched run that’s seen them only beat Sheffield United inside 90 minutes since mid-March, whereas Newcastle’s form has picked up and got them back in contention for Europe.

Newcastle’s form has particularly improved away from St James’ Park; having only won one of their first 10 away league games this season (D2 L7), Howe’s men have since won four of their last seven on the road (L3). They are looking to win back-to-back away league games for just a second time in 2023-24 (also in January/February).

United fans will be looking for omens anywhere they can get them at the moment, such has been the team’s woeful run. With that in mind, they’re unbeaten in their last 14 midweek (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) home games in the Premier League (W11 D3), with the last visiting side to win at Old Trafford in midweek in the competition being Liverpool in May 2021 (4-2).

That’s about as good as it gets when it comes to United’s recent form.

Opta Power Rankings

The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.

Ahead of kick-off on Wednesday, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.

Man Utd vs Newcastle Prediction

Man Utd vs Newcastle prediction

Despite the two teams being in such contrasting form, the Opta supercomputer does consider Manchester United the favourites, winning this game in 42.9% of the 10,000 pre-match simulations.

Still, that also means the prediction model considers there to be a 57.1% likelihood of Newcastle at least getting a result. They came away with the three points in 29.3% of the sims, with the draw occurring in 27.8%.

As for their final positions, United finish eighth in 81.4% of the season simulations, while Newcastle come sixth in 47.2%, which would mean Europa League qualification for the Magpies if City beat United in the FA Cup final. Otherwise, it would mean the Europa Conference League.

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