Manchester United, who drew with Valencia at home in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday night, will be determined to sign off for the season’s second international break by picking up maximum points at Old Trafford. Mourinho’s men, 10th in the Premier League after seven matches, host struggling Newcastle United on Saturday.
United have gone four games without a win and have failed to take maximum points from the last four at Old Trafford too, the first time in Mourinho’s career that he has overseen a quarter of home fixtures without a victory.
Newcastle are winless in their seven Premier League games this season. Having put in determined defensive performances in narrow defeats to Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal already this campaign, Rafa Benitez’s men will back themselves to cause more frustration for the home supporters here.
Newcastle, who won 1-0 against Man Utd in February, haven’t won back to back league matches against the Red Devils since October 1972.
TEAM NEWS (MANCHESTED UNITED)
Ashley Young is back in contention for the Red Devils. A minor unspecified injury meant the left-back missed Tuesday’s Champions League draw with Valencia, which Marcos Rojo, Jesse Lingard and Ander Herrera also sat out through injury.
Jose Mourinho confirmed those three players remain absent this weekend, while Phil Jones, Andreas Pereira and Diogo Dalot will be hoping to be involved after being left out of the squad in midweek.
Provisional squad: De Gea, Romero, Grant, Valencia, Dalot, Young, Darmian, Shaw, Smalling, Jones, Bailly, Lindelof, Pogba, Fellaini, Mata, Matic, Pereira, Fred, McTominay, Lukaku, Martial, Sanchez, Rashford.
TEAM NEWS (NEWCASTLE UNITED)
Federico Fernandez and Paul Dummett could return for Rafa Benitez’s men on Saturday. The defensive duo missed Newcastle’s defeat against Leicester City last weekend – both with hamstring injuries – but they may have recovered in time for the trip to Old Trafford. Venezuelan striker Salomon Rondon is still unavailable with a thigh injury, while long-term absentee Florian Lejeune (knee) will also be missing.
A win on Saturday would relieve the pressure on the manager, who could head into the international break with his future in their air. United great Ryan Giggs spoke out in support of Mourinho on Thursday, warning his removal would only give rise to further instability, and retired midfielder Scholes has now clarified his stance on the 55-year-old’s position.
“Yes, I do [think he should stay],” Scholes told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“The only thing I didn’t like was I’m sick of him moaning about what he hasn’t got when I think he really should be concentrating on what he has got”.
Only time would tell the future of the club and their current manager, who has been in the news all around media for all the wrong reasons. Can he turn the situation and show why he is the man for the job or risk losing his job?