Manchester United-Newcastle United Preview
Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick revealed all of his players, bar Paul Pogba, are back in training ahead of the trip to Newcastle United.
The Red Devils are yet to lose under Rangnick, defeating Crystal Palace and Norwich City 1-0 either side of a 1-1 draw with Young Boys in the Champions League.
United, however, were forced to close their training ground amid COVID-19 outbreak concerns, but the former RB Leipzig head coach confirmed he now has an almost fully-fit squad to select from.
He said: "As of today, we have now had three days of training this week. We started on Tuesday, then trained yesterday and today. We have 25 outfield players, all apart from Pogba.
"Every other player is on board. The development of the last week was extremely positive.
"As far as I could see today in training, they're all in good shape and all the players did their homework. They had their schedule to train at home and they stuck to that schedule.
"I can say most of them if not all of them might be available, but I might have to make some difficult decisions who will be in the squad and the starting XI."
Strugglers Newcastle sit three points adrift of safety, having gone down 3-1 to Liverpool and 4-0 to Manchester City, and face another tough task on Monday.
Head coach Eddie Howe, though, is looking forward to a meeting with one of his inspirations Rangnick.
"He's one of the culture change managers who's brought in a lot of new ideas that a lot of people have followed. A definite pioneer of the game," Howe said in his pre-match press conference.
"He's someone I've had a couple of conversations with over the years and someone I highly respect and admire."
Newcastle United - Joe Willock
Joe Willock was Newcastle's second highest-goalscorer in the Premier League last term, netting eight goals in 14 games and averaging a goal every 123 minutes. This season, however, the midfielder has failed to score in any of his 16 appearances for the Magpies (1,053 minutes).
Manchester United - Cristiano Ronaldo
Only against Aston Villa (eight) has Cristiano Ronaldo scored more Premier League goals than he has against Newcastle (seven). His seven goals have come in his last four league appearances against them, including a brace in the reverse fixture this season.
- Manchester United have scored 112 Premier League goals against Newcastle - no side has scored more against a single opponent in the competition's history (Arsenal also 112 vs Everton).
- Manchester United have won 10 Premier League games from a losing position against Newcastle - no side has won more from behind against an opponent in the competition's history (Man Utd also 10 vs Southampton).
- Newcastle have conceded 79 Premier League goals in 2021, the joint-most in a single calendar year in the competition (also Ipswich Town in 1994). The last top-flight team to concede more over the course of a year were West Bromwich Albion in 1985 (87).
- Coming into this round of games, Newcastle have dropped more points from winning positions than any other Premier League side this season (17). It's their highest such total in a single top-flight campaign since 2019-20, where they dropped 18 across the course of the whole season.
- Manchester United have won both of their two league games so far under Ralf Rangnick 1-0. No manager in the club's history has kept a clean sheet in each of their first three league games in charge of the Red Devils.
Updated December 23, 2021