Manchester United vs Newcastle UnitedEnglish Premier League, KO: 17:30 Dec 26, 2019, Old Trafford
NEWCASTLE sparked their season to life with a win over Manchester United and will be out to complete a memorable double at Old Trafford.
Steve Bruce was under serious pressure when United came calling in October, with his Magpies side sitting second bottom, but Matty Longstaff's superb strike sealed a 1-0 win.
Newcastle had won just one game all season before that but Bruce's men have claimed five more victories since then to roar up to ninth in the table.
They are now level on points with Manchester United, whose own revival came crashing to an end with a dismal defeat at Watford on Sunday.
That continued a trend that has seen Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side shine against the big guns only to slip up against teams who are struggling. So it's hard to predict how the Red Devils will fare against a side now sitting on the same points as them.
How the bookies view it
Despite Newcastle's impressive form, the bookies don't give them much of a chance at Old Trafford, with the Magpies as big as 9/1 with BetVictor.
Even the draw is 17/4 with Bet365 while the best price on a Manchester United win is 4/11 with Unibet. The Magpies have drawn a blank in two of their last three away games so a United win to nil might be the best option at 5/4 with BetVictor.
Recent head to head
Things have been pretty even between these sides in recent seasons, although Manchester United won both matches last term.
It was 2-0 to United at St James Park and they came from 2-0 down to edge a five-thriller in the last Old Trafford meeting, netting three times in the last 20 minutes (below).
Newcastle's last win at the Theatre of Dreams came in 2013 but they also drew there in 2015 and have claimed two wins and a draw against United at St James' Park in the last four seasons.
Players to watch
Paul Pogba made his long-awaited return from injury at Watford on Sunday and sparked some life into a moribund Manchester United side.
I'd be surprised if the Frenchman (below) didn't start here and he's a tempting 41/20 with Unibet in the anytime scorer market.
Andy Carroll has started the last two matches for Newcastle and helped set up the winner for Miguel Almiron against Crystal Palace at the weekend.
He still hasn't scored since returning to the Magpies but might end that wait here and is a tempting 9/2 with Bet365 for a goal.
Anything else catch the eye?
The card markets have been profitable for me of late and I cashed in by backing United's Luke Shaw and Watford's Etienne Capoue for bookings on Sunday.
But I'm more drawn to Fabian Schar who picked up his fifth booking of the season at the weekend. The Swiss stopper is 19/10 with United for a card here.
Thrills were thin on the ground in the last meeting at St James' Park and I expect Newcastle to sit back and defend deep. So I'm going for under 2.5 goals at 61/50 with Marathonbet and the second half to be the highest-scoring half at 111/100 with the same firm.
This English Premier League match between Manchester United and Newcastle United will be played on Dec 26, 2019 and kick off at 17:30