Preview: United v Newcastle



Setting the scene… The final international break of 2017 is now over and Premier League action makes a welcome return to Old Trafford this weekend as Manchester United host mid-table Newcastle United in a Saturday teatime clash.



Jose Mourinho's men will look to claim three points at the Theatre of Dreams in a bid to catch league leaders Manchester City, who sit eight points clear at the top of the table and travel to Leicester City earlier in the day.
How can I watch it? Saturday's clash kicks off at 17:30 GMT and will be broadcast live on.

BT Sport in the UK. Subscribers to MUTV on Sky or Virgin Media, the club's MUTV app or online at MUTV.com will be able to watch build-up from 15:30 GMT on the Match Day show and listen to radio commentary of the game before watching it in full on Sunday at 18:00 GMT. Keep up with all the action as it happens via ManUtd.com’s live match blog and by follow the official Twitter account
@ManUtd .

What's the team news? Phil Jones will be assessed after returning to the club for treatment after picking up a thigh problem during international duty with England, while Marouane Fellaini made a positive return to action as a substitute against Chelsea before the international break. There is still no further news on when Michael Carrick, Marcos Rojo or Zlatan Ibrahimovic could make their comebacks, but the boss could give an update on his squad in his pre-match conference on Friday.

How are Newcastle doing? After a three-match unbeaten run, which included a creditable draw at home to Liverpool, the Magpies lost back-to-back games by a 1-0 scoreline before the international break, away to Burnley and at home to Bournemouth.

 Rafael Benitez's side have largely struggled for consistency so far this term, with their only win in October coming at home to bottom-club Crystal Palace. Newcastle currently sit 11th in the Premier League after 11 games and, although they will be underdogs at OT, they face Watford and West Ham afterwards - games they will be looking to pick up points in.

What's our head-to-head record like? United are the dominant side as history shows, with the Reds winning 83 of the sides' 163 meetings - including six of the last 10. There should be goals too, with both sides failing to score in only four of the last 50 clashes. Our last meeting with the Magpies was during the 2015/16 season, when the Reds were denied victory by a last-gasp Paul Dummett goal in a thrilling 3-3 draw at St James's Park.

Who is the referee? Craig Pawson will be in the middle on Saturday, with the Fifa whistler from South Yorkshire overseeing his second United game of the season after handling our 1-0 win at Southampton in September. Incidentally, United are unbeaten in the 11 previous games he's handled – winning nine and drawing two. He will be assisted by Lee Betts and Constantine Hatzidakis, while the fourth official will be Paul Tierney, who refereed Newcastle's 1-0 home defeat by Bournemouth in their last game.

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