Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas has suggested that Newcastle United could surprise everybody against Manchester United on Sunday.
The Magpies are looking to bounce back from a dreadful 5-0 humiliation against Leicester City last time out, but Nicholas feels they can rebound with a 2-1 victory over the beleaguered Red Devils.
“Steve Bruce goes up against his old team – it is an intriguing one,” he wrote on the Sky Sports website. “The last time Newcastle were at home, they were dreadful. You have to give the fans something at home, they are an amazing bunch of supporters.
“Manchester United are sitting in 10th with two wins in seven, scrambling for points at home. There is a lot of demands in place but [Ole Gunnar] Solskjaer has his plan for the youth and the club. His vision will take time. One week, Newcastle will surprise everybody, and this may be this week. If they hit them and are aggressive, they can shock Manchester United.”
It’s very difficult to pick Newcastle to beat anyone at the moment. They were absolutely abject against Leicester last weekend. The players simply gave up, looking confused and frustrated with the tactics employed by Bruce. You can see what Nicholas is getting at here, though. He’s thinking that the Magpies have to produce a reaction in front of their home fans, as well as assuming that they’re going to turn up and play at some point. However, you could almost say the same thing about United. They have had their own series of poor results to start the season and are coming off a disappointing goalless draw with AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League on Thursday night. They will also be looking to bounce back from that game, and so this is sort of a clash between two cornered animals. There’s no doubt that Newcastle are capable of winning, and this might prove to be the perfect opponent at the perfect time for them, but it’s hard to have much faith in Bruce’s men at the moment.