Will ten Hag suffer the next setback?

It is customary for Manchester United Football Club to end the Premier League season with an evening dinner. Such a dinner with professionals, club officials and sponsors was also planned for May 20, 2024. However, the event has since been canceled. Officially, the reason given was that the team and coaching team should focus on the upcoming cup final on 25 May – unofficially, however, there is no internal interest in ending another botched season with a gala dinner in a convivial atmosphere

The fact is that coach Erik ten Hag’s charges are on the verge of losing their ticket for international business next season. The current eighth place would not entitle them to participate in the 2024/25 European Cup. That leaves two options: Either the record champions pick up three more points in the final spurt of the Premier League to climb to at least seventh place or the Red Devils win the aforementioned FA Cup final against city rivals Manchester City.

The first scenario seems a little more realistic, especially as United could improve their starting position in a direct clash on Wednesday evening. That would be the case if Manchester United and Newcastle were to go one-two-three. A top price of 2.75 is currently on offer for such a bet in the handy Interwetten app.

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Manchester United – Statistics & current form

Fans of Manchester United Football Club are really not having an easy time at the moment. There are flashes of the record champions’ undoubted potential from time to time, but Dutch coach Erik ten Hag’s men are as far away from a certain consistency in terms of their performances and results as Jürgen Klopp is from an immediate appointment as coach at FC Bayern.

The Red Devils have only won one of their last eight Premier League matches. Significantly, this was a 4:2 home win against the already relegated bottom team Sheffield United. This was followed by a sobering 1-1 draw against Burnley, an embarrassing 4-0 defeat at Crystal Palace and a 1-0 loss at home to Arsenal at the weekend, when United showed a much improved side but also failed to score for the second game in a row. It was also United’s ninth home defeat in all competitions this season. MUFC have never suffered a double-digit number of home defeats in the club’s history!

Can Manchester United bounce back in the league?

The fact that the 20-times English champions have only lost their last home game in one of the last 16 (!) seasons (11-4-1) gives us hope that at least this streak will hold up in the wretched 2023/24 season. Another positive aspect is the really good record in PL matches played from Tuesday to Thursday. The current eighth-placed team, who are three points behind Newcastle (6th) and Chelsea (7th), have not lost any of their last 14 league games during the week. The last defeat on one of the three aforementioned weekdays was in May 2021.

However, the continued defensive deficiencies are less encouraging. Keeper Onana has conceded at least two goals in seven of the last eleven PL matches. However, far fewer goals have been conceded in front of a home crowd, which is why it is not particularly surprising that a maximum of three goals have been scored in regulation time in five of the last seven PL home games. By comparison, United have only had one away game in the English top flight since mid-February in which they have failed to break the 3.5-goal barrier.

Given that Manchester United face Newcastle at home on Wednesday evening, the under 3.5 odds are definitely of interest. Especially as Erik ten Hag, who has come under criticism, is still without a number of players. However, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford could possibly return to the squad, although it seems unlikely that they will start. The absence of the Portuguese playmaker is particularly painful, as without Fernandes in the starting eleven, the Red Devils only have a 40% win rate and 1.3 points per league game.

Predicted Manchester United line-up:

Newcastle – Statistics & current form

While Manchester United’s form, as described, has been on a downward trend for many matchdays, Newcastle United have found their feet in the final quarter of the season. Last year’s fourth-placed team, who even dropped into the bottom half of the table at times due to an unbelievable injury crisis, shifted up two gears at the right time and now have the best chance of punching their ticket for international competition with two matches to go.

Sixth place, which the Magpies currently hold thanks to their superior goal difference compared to Chelsea Football Club, who are level on points, would definitely qualify them for European competition. However, if the Black & Whites drop to seventh place, United will not be allowed to win the FA Cup final against Manchester City. The upcoming match is therefore a very important one for the visitors from the north-east of the country. Depending on how Chelsea’s parallel game against Brighton ends, coach Sean Dyche’s team could be condemned to victory in order to maintain a decent starting position.

Newcastle have lost just one of their last eight PL games

Nevertheless, we are far from predicting an attacking spectacle with four or more goals in the course of the game before Manchester United v Newcastle. The club, which has been majority-owned by a Saudi investment fund since 2021, has been too stable defensively in recent matchdays for that. In the last seven PL matches, only Oliver Glasner’s in-form Eagles (editor’s note: Crystal Palace) have managed to score more than one goal against the Magpies.

The approach of building on a compact defense to achieve success was reminiscent of the recipe for success from last season, when Dyche’s team had one of the best defenses in the Premier League. In our eyes, it should also be a sensible approach on Wednesday evening to focus on concentrated work against the ball and then use the quality available in attack to strike in a flash. If you believe in another good defensive performance from the sixth-placed team, you will find attractive odds of 2.00 between Manchester United and Newcastle for the home side to score a maximum of one goal.

With the exception of the long-term injuries, the coach can virtually draw on a full squad. This means that there are good options from the bench and that the Black & Whites are by no means forced to use up all their reserves immediately. It is quite possible that the match will not be decided until after the break. We believe that NUFC are very likely to win at least one point, which is why the double chance X2 can be seen as a solid basis for a match combination bet

Predicted line-up of Newcastle:

Manchester United – Newcastle head-to-head / H2H record

This is the third time this season that the two former English champions have crossed paths. Newcastle United came out on top in the first two meetings. In the EFL Cup, the Magpies won 3-0 at Old Trafford, while in the Premier League, the Black & Whites came away with a narrow 1-0 victory. The north-east side have now won three competitive matches in a row against the record champions this season. At league level, however, the Red Devils have lost just one of their last 28 home games against their upcoming opponents (18-9-1).

Manchester United – Newcastle betting tip

For NUFC coach Sean Dyche, footballing excursions to Manchester have not been marked by success so far. On the contrary, the soccer coach has taken his teams to the industrial city 14 times and has never won a game against City or United (0-2-12). Should this brutal drought come to an end during the week, you have the chance to pick up odds of 2.35 for an away win between Manchester United and Newcastle in the Happybet app.

However, as the Red Devils are much stronger at home than away and, looking at the league table, we know what’s going on, it’s ultimately too risky for us to place a bet on the three-way market. Instead, we can well imagine that fewer goals will be scored than expected. On the one hand, there is a lot at stake in terms of European qualification in the clash between sixth and eighth, who are currently separated by three points. On the other hand, United have struggled offensively of late, while the Magpies have at least stepped up a gear defensively

We therefore prefer to bet on a maximum of three goals in the match between Manchester United and Newcastle. The top odds are 1.97 and are far too high in our eyes. Not least because this mark has not been broken in any of the last six (!) direct duels.

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