Two Uniteds face off on Wednesday night looking to bounce back after disappointing final games of 2011, however everything points to Manchester United starting 2012 brighter than Newcastle United.
There was a time when Newcastle United were
seen as title contenders, but that was a long, long time ago. Since then
Newcastle slipped down, then out of (and then back into) the Premier League
while Manchester United won title after title and broke record after record.
After all the shocks and upsets of last weekend's football it's time for normal
service to be resumed with a Red Devil victory at the stadium formerly known as
St. James' Park on Wednesday night.
Two very different Uniteds, two very different
Newcastle's last game of 2011 was a tricky
trip to Anfield on Friday 30th December, while Manchester United hosted
Blackburn on New Year’s Eve. Newcastle’s
game ended in a comfortable home victory exactly as predicted. Meanwhile EVERYONE was left speechless by the fact that Manchester United
dropped goals and points as they went down 3-2 to relegation fodder Blackburn,
which no-one in their right mind would have predicted. A Soccer Pick on Blackburn beating United
was offered up at 25/1 and the 3-2 scoreline was a massive 350/1.
expecting frightening lightning to stroke twice, sorry Newcastle. While it was
inconceivable that Manchester United would capitulate under Blackburn (although
it then happened) it seems even more unbelievable that they will let another
three points slip through their fingers. Manchester United last lost successive
Premier League games in March 2011, when they fell at Chelsea and Liverpool inside
History makes sobering reading for the
Newcastle have won just two of their last 13
home games against the reigning champions, and if you believe in omens you
might be interested to know that Newcastle United have so far failed to record
a single victory in front of their home fans since St James' Park was renamed
the Sports Direct Arena, and they are at 9/2 to do it against Fergie’s boys.
of the 18 times this fixture has been played in the Premier League, Newcastle
have only managed to win four and their last victory was 10 seasons ago; in a
thrilling 4-3 in the 2001/02 season (today that score is at an eye
watering 150/1) . Since then the Magpies have lost six of their last eight home
games against Manchester United.
The last time this fixture was played the game
ended 0-0 but I’d stay well away from that scoreline even at 12/1 soccer odds, as that was
the first goalless draw in this fixture in the Premier League era and
Manchester United have failed to find the back of the net on just three
occasions in the past 18 years away to Newcastle (although two of those games
ended in Newcastle victories).
What's more, Manchester United are now the only
team to have scored in every single game of the 2011–12 Premier League
season. By comparison Newcastle United have only won one league game in their
horrible New Year hangover
There is a scant consolation for Newcastle
fans in that they did win their last game that kicked off a calendar year, that
was a 1-0 victory over Wigan in January 2011, and they’ve drawn the previous
two 0-0. Newcastle hosted Manchester United at St James' Park in the first game
of 2007, that game ended 2-2 which might just be worth a bet at 16-1. By
comparison (again) Manchester United haven't lost their first game of the
calendar year since 1996!
Much has been written about Wayne Rooney (who
has scored six goals in his last six appearances away to Newcastle) and the
punishment that saw him miss the Blackburn game for having a Boxing Day night
out. I feel that Rooney and Manchester United will do everything they can to
make amends for the Blackburn debacle. Despite
the fact that the last two times these teams have met scores have been level,
the previous two games before that Manchester United were victorious. I feel
that this is one of those games where the stats fail to tell the full story.
expect a commanding performance from the reigning champions, and I’m backing
them to win both halves, at 13/8 with the sportsbooks (although you can get Man
Utd trailing at the break and taking the match on the 90 minute (plus Fergie
time) mark at a very reasonable 25/1). Victory over Newcastle will be the Red
Devils’ first step to erase the Blackburn disappointment and send a loud and
clear message to Manchester City, who failed to take advantage of United’s
slip-up and (somehow) managed to let all three points slip through their
fingers when they played Sunderland on New Year's Day.
An away win for Manchester United winning 3-0 available with
oddsmakers at 14/1.