Manchester United – Newcastle Preview: Leaders looks for response after Swansea draw

The only real injury problems Sir Alex Ferguson has are in midfield, with Anderson (hamstring) set to miss out until the trip to West Brom on December 29.

Nani (hamstring) and Shinji Kagawa (knee) will most likely return against Steve Clarke’s side at the Hawthorns asl well, so Ferguson may well call on the likes of Paul Scholes and Danny Welbeck to fill in the gaps in midfield.

Wayne Rooney could be dropped after a disappointing display at Swansea in which he was substituted, with Chicharito or Welbeck ready to take his place up front.

Alan Pardew has a number of fitness issues to contend with in his squad – Hatem Ben Arfa (hamstring) and Dan Gosling (knee) have no set return dates, and are likely to miss the trip to Old Trafford.

Centre-back Steven Taylor (hamstring) is missing till January, while influential midfielder Yohan Cabaye (groin) is out until February.

Ryan Taylor (knee) will not be playing until March, and Haris Vukcic (knee) is likely to be out for the rest of the season, so the January transfer window cannot come soon enough for the Newcastle boss.

  • Newcastle have won just once in their last 20 league league meetings with Manchester United, losing 14 and drawing five.
  • However, of the last four meetings between the sides, Ferguson’s men have only won once, with two draws and a victory for Pardew.
  • Newcastle have not won away in the league in eight attempts this season, losing four and drawing four.
  • Newcastle haven’t won at Old Trafford since 1972, with 30 games having been played in the process.
  • Robin van Persie (pictured, right) has five goals and three assists in his last seven games against Newcastle.
  • The Magpies have lost six of their last eight Premier League games.
  • The sides last met in October when Sir Alex Ferguson’s team won 3-0 at St James’ Park.

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