Nicky Butt and Mark Dempsey will join Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on the Manchester United bench for Sunday’s match against Newcastle after some other members of the coaching staff had to self-isolate, the club have announced.
Butt, a long-time team-mate of Solskjaer’s at Old Trafford during their playing days, is the club’s head of development.
Former United player Dempsey returned to the club in 2018 as part of Solskjaer’s staff, having previously worked with the Norwegian at Molde, and is now primarily working with the academy set-up.
The individuals in self-isolation are not being identified due to the privacy of medical information.
It is understood there are no concerns that any players will need to isolate and Sunday’s fixture, scheduled to kick off at 7pm at Old Trafford, will go ahead.
Edinson Cavani, Donny van de Beek and Scott McTominay will be assessed ahead of the game at Old Trafford.
Cavani and Van de Beek missed Thursday’s Europa League win against Real Sociedad with muscle injuries but Solskjaer is hoping they can feature on Sunday.
McTominay played in Turin but the United boss suggested he also needs checking ahead of a match that Paul Pogba (thigh) and Phil Jones (knee) are out of.
Newcastle will once again be without 10-goal top-scorer Callum Wilson because of a hamstring injury.
Fabian Schar has undergone surgery on his knee, while fellow centre-back Federico Fernandez has returned to training this week following a thigh injury, but the trip to Old Trafford comes too soon for the Argentinian.
Full-back Javi Manquillo is responding well to treatment on an ankle injury but he, too, is set to miss out, although midfielder Jeff Hendrick is available again after missing the defeat to Chelsea on Monday through suspension.
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I want to get Newcastle on my side in this one.
Manchester United look a team on the verge of encountering a bad run of form that all the top-six clubs have faced at some point this season. You could argue Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s are actually already in the midst of a sticky patch with just one win from their last four league games vs Sheffield United, Southampton, Everton and West Brom.
It was that performance at the Baggies, backed up by similarly nervous showings of late, that suggests to me that it’s going to be a struggle for them to hold onto second place for much longer. Sam Allardyce’s men defended resolutely, yes, but they were never put under any pressure from United’s forward play. An expected goals figure of just 0.47 – their second lowest recorded this season – showcased just how much inspiration they lacked in the final third. They are easily swerved here at 1/4 with Sky Bet.
There seems to be a feeling that Newcastle are serious relegation contenders but a quick look at the table sees them six points clear of the drop. I’d be very surprised if they even get dragged into the scrap if they remain playing in this more attack-minded style we’ve seen of late. This isn’t the Newcastle of a few weeks ago that embarrassed themselves in a 1-0 defeat at Sheffield United. It’s a braver, more forward-thinking approach.
Since switching to this diamond-like formation halfway through their defeat to Leeds with Miguel Almiron playing in the pocket, Newcastle are averaging just under two goals a game still and 12.5 shots a game. I thought they handled themselves quite well at Chelsea, registering 10 shots at goal – the most Thomas Tuchel has faced in the league since taking over at Stamford Bridge. Yes, there’s going to be a problem finishing these chances without Callum Wilson but playing this way will still get Newcastle into dangerous areas of the pitch with Allan Saint-Maximin an obvious threat.
There’s lots of betting angles I’m keen to attack. Perhaps the strongest one, in terms of nailing a return, would be to back Newcastle with a two-goal head start at 10/11. So, for the bet to win Newcastle either need to win, draw or lose by one goal.
This is a bet that would have won backing the opposing team in 14 of Manchester United’s last 16 matches.
I also like the 11/10 for Newcastle to have 10 or more shots and wouldn’t be against playing the 9/2 for 13 or more shots.
JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 1-1
BETTING ANGLE: Newcastle +2 (10/11 with Sky Bet)
BETTING ANGLE: Newcastle to have 13 or more shots (9/2 with Sky Bet)
- Manchester United have won four of their last five Premier League games against Newcastle (L1), winning the last two by a 4-1 scoreline.
- Newcastle have won just one of their last 35 away league games against Manchester United (D9 L25), winning 1-0 at Old Trafford in December 2013.
- Manchester United haven’t won three consecutive league games by a 3+ goal margin against a side since doing so versus Aston Villa between April 2013-March 2014.
- Only against Liverpool (81) have Newcastle United lost more matches in their entire league history than versus Manchester United (80). The Magpies have lost 49 away league games against the Red Devils.
- Manchester United have conceded the first goal in 11 different Premier League games this season (W7 D1 L3), winning a league-high seven times after conceding first.
- Manchester United have won more Premier League points (529) and games (154) on Sundays than any other side in the competition’s history. The Red Devils have averaged 1.86 points-per-game on Sundays in the Premier League, the best such ratio on that day of the week (min. 3 games).
- Newcastle have lost all three Premier League games without scoring when Callum Wilson has been absent this season – the forward has netted 40% of their Premier League goals this season (10 of 25).
- Newcastle manager Steve Bruce has taken just one point from 33 available in his Premier League visits to Old Trafford (D1 L10), drawing 2-2 with Sunderland in October 2009.
- Luke Shaw has provided five assists for Man Utd in the Premier League this season; his best return in a single season in the competition, with the left-back assisting in each of his last three PL appearances (4 in total). Only three players have assisted in four consecutive Premier League appearances for the club (Ryan Giggs, 5 apps in 2003; Nani, 4 apps in 2010; Antonio Valencia, 5 apps in 2011).
- Marcus Rashford has been involved in six goals in his six Premier League appearances against Newcastle (3 goals, 3 assists), scoring one and assisting two in Man Utd’s 4-1 win in the reverse fixture at St James’ Park this season.