Manchester United vs Newcastle United preview – Pardew banking on Colo return?

Posted on September 26th, 2012 | 36 Comments |

Paul Scholes, Alex Ferguson and Ryan Giggs.
Manchester United - Injury central recently.
Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester.
Date: Thurs, 26th Sept.
Kick off: 7:45pm
Referee: Anthony Taylor (Manchester).
UK TV: Sky Sports.

The Toon begin this season’s League Cup campaign with a remarkably tough opening fixture away to the Mancs at Old Trafford. Kick-off is at 7.45pm and the tie, which will be settled on the night via extra time and penalties if required will be televised live on Sky TV.

It is widely accepted that Captain Colocinni will return for this trip to Manchester after a three match spell on the sidelines, which will be a relief to our beleaguered back four who had played three games in six days without him. Along with Colo it appears that wor Cheick will make his first appearance since the opening day win against Spurs and Pardew has hinted his “strong spine” will be completed with a start for Shola.

League Cup History

As we all know, Old Trafford has rarely been a happy hunting ground for we Geordies and the stats show that overall they’ve won almost as many games against us as we have won and drawn against them. So it goes without saying Wednesday’s game wont be easy and we’ll all be hoping that history doesn’t repeat itself as our last League Cup tie at Old Trafford ended in a 2-7 defeat against a side led by Tommy Docherty (leaving aside the Mary Brown jokes for now, were we playing Rugby League in those days?). That night Gordon Hill was tormentor in chief scoring a hat trick. Our responses came from Micky Burns and Irving Nattrass in front of 52,000 fans. Which is something the Glazers can only dream of for Wednesdays match – presumably £45 a ticket and live TV coverage hasn’t helped?

Looking on the positive side our only other League Cup meeting against the red half of Manchester was a very satisfying 2-0 home win in October 1994. 1994/95 was our second season back in the Premier League and we’d begun our UEFA cup campaign with a 10-2 aggregate score against Royal Antwerp, and subsequently beat Athletic Bilbao at SJP a week before the game against the Reds. With that in mind, did KK play a weakened side? In short, no. Whereas the wily, red nosed, fox fielded a particularly youthful side that night with four youngsters Gillespie, Scholes, Beckham and Butt featuring in midfield. Whatever happened to them? Ironically we went on to play the same opponents in a league match four days later at Old Trafford and the Reds, who were heavily reinforced by the return of Ince. Kean, Cantona and Hughes went on to record a 2-0 home win.

Our opponents

What is there left to say about, arguably, English football’s most successful club side? Normally a season in the Premier League ends with the Mancs winning at least one trophy so last season’s second place was, by their standards, a disaster. Especially so as it was their new noisy neighbours who beat them to the trophy on the last day of the season.

As for the League Cup (in all its various guises), the Reds have won the trophy and been losing finalists on four separate occasions, winning their first Cup in 1992 then more recently in 2006, 2009 and 2010. So they’re chasing a third League Cup winners crown in five years however they have slipped up in the early rounds before when fielding unfamiliar line-ups. None more so when they spectacularly lost to Southend in 2006 and Coventry in 2007 and of course, last year to Crystal Palace with ex Mag Darren Ambrose scoring a 35 yard screamer.

This season they’ve started well but, like us, have yet to fire on all cylinders. New signings Van Persie and Kagawa have settled in well but it’s the younger summer purchases, Angelo Henriquez Alex Buttner and Nick Powell, who are more likely to feature tomorrow night as SAF rests key players for the visit of Spurs on Saturday.

Henriquez is an U20 Chilean international striker who further increases Ferguson’s options up front. Taggart was quoted as saying:

“Although we’ve monitored his progress since he was 14, he had such a good summer with Chile’s Under-20s that we thought it wasn’t worth waiting any longer (In case someone else bought him? – AM). We may as well do it now. He’s quick and a good finisher and he has a terrific physique for a boy of 18.”

Ferguson also hinted that 23-year-old Dutchman Alexander Büttner, signed from Vitesse Arnhem, may well feature on Wednesday due to the number of injured defenders at the club, which now includes Vidic who underwent knee surgery yesterday and will be out for 8 weeks. Büttner made his league debut against Wigan at OT last week, assisting for the second and scoring the third goal in an impressive strong run down the left hand side. He was later rewarded with the Man of the Match award.

Also a scorer in that game was another new boy, Nick Powell, who helped Crewe to win the League Two Play off final last season with a stunning volley from outside the box into the top corner of the Cheltenham Town net. Much hype surrounded the 18 year old last season but it was United who eventually won the battle for his signature.

Even allowing for the first team absentees, United, with Darren Fletcher likely to start his first game for ten months and with rumours of a possible substitute role for Wayne Rooney, are likely to pose the biggest threat so far to a Newcastle team still waiting to hit top form.

Manchester United v Newcastle United History

Games Played: 155.

Games won: 40.

Games drawn: 38.

Games lost: 77.

Our league games have seen some memorable victories down the years as well as some embarrassing defeats. The 1-5 and 0-6 games of the 2007-08 season I remember as particular low points in that transitional period with Allardyce leaving and KK re-appearing.

It is over forty years since we last won a league game at Old Trafford (12th Feb 1972) and our cup record is no better. In all cup matches we’ve managed only one win (see above) from six FA and LC games as well as two losing Charity Shield appearances.

Still Pardew’s on the case and insists he’s taking a team to Manchester to win the game.


Manchester United: David De Gea (G), Anders Lindegaard (G), Sam Johnstone, Jonny Evans, Michael Keane, Alexander Büttner, Antonio Valencia, Anderson, Nani, Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Darren Fletcher, Nick Powell, Larnell Cole, Jesse Lingard, Marnick Vermijl, Ryan Tunnicliffe, Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck, Frederico Macheda, Joshua King.

Doubtful: Wayne Rooney (hip).

Knacked: Chris Smalling (metatarsal), Phil Jones (knee), Ashley Young (knee).

Newcastle United: Steve Harper (G), Rob Elliot (G), James Tavernier, Shane Ferguson, James Perch, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Mike Williamson, Davide Santon, Cheick Tiote, Yohan Cabaye, Jonas Gutierrez, Hatem Ben Arfa, Vurnon Anita, Gael Bigirimana, Dan Gosling, Marveaux, Obertan, Vuckic, Abeid, Amalfitano, Sammy Ameobi, Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse, Shola Ameobi, Adam Campbell.


Knacked: Tim Krul (arm, elbow), Danny Simpson (hamstring), Ryan Taylor (Anterior Cruciate Ligament).

Tomorrow night Pardew has promised the travelling masses a strong team which should include Fabricio Coloccini, Cheick Tiote and Shola Ameobi as well as some of his “squad” players. He has challenged those younger players on the fringes to prove their worth on the big stage.

“These players have an unprecedented chance here. At the end of it we will be able to say Shane Ferguson is good enough, or Sammy Ameobi is good enough. Or is Vuckic good enough? Where will they be? They will either be staying at the club or it will be a case of pastures new.”

So no pressure there then :)

Mindful of Saturday’s Premier League game against Reading, and a congested fixture calendar, the likes of Demba Ba and Hatem Ben Arfa are unfortunately expected to be missing amid hints that Harps will also be rested with Elliot replacing him.

“There’ll be three or four players that I’ll need to rest for Reading, for sure but all the teams in this competition will be the same. There are just too many games for players to play in every single one” said the Silver one, continuing:

“I have not picked the side yet because I’m just taking in loads of information from Sunday’s game. I will see all the stats and then make a decision on Tuesday,” he said. “But we will help Papiss (in his efforts to get a goal). That is what we are about. Myself and my team have got the best out of most of my players here, particularly Papiss last season” but alas not Obertan :)

Apparently, Pardew is wrestling with the question of whether playing Cisse and Demba Ba centrally gets the best out of both players (which will come as something of a shock to .org readers). So while Ba is rested there’s every possibility that Cisse will get another chance to break his scoring duck with Shola presumably playing slightly deeper in support?

If HBA is rested I dont see any way Pardew can risk leaving Cabaye out of the team as he really is the only other creative outlet for us at present. My ideal would be to give him space in front of two DM’s to perform his playmaker role but I feel he’ll once again be forced to sit deeper in a traditional midfield four.

As for the Mancs it is generally assumed that with Chris Smalling and Phil Jones still injured and now joined by Vidic and Rafael, Sir Alex Ferguson will be reluctant to use either Rio Ferdinand or Jonny Evans for this fixture as he doesn’t want to risk adding more players to his existing injury list. Therefore, don’t be too surprised to see Michael Carrick at the heart of the defence. However, knowing that Cisse and Shola will probably play a part on Wednesday, Evans will surely be pressed into action alongside him?

As usual I will give two possible formation options for the Toon (our suggestion as well as Pardew’s likely XI) as well as a wild stab at the Mancs starting line up.


De Gea.

Wooton/Keane/AN Other, Evans, Carrick, Büttner.

Anderson, Fletcher.

Nani, Powell, Giggs.




Anita, Colo, Saylor, Santon

Obertan, Tiote, Cabaye, Ferguson





Anita, Colo. Saylor, Santon

Tiote, Perch Cabaye

Gutierez, Cisse Sammy Ameobi


Although SAF usually mixes youth with experience on occasions like this, he cannot afford the risk of playing too many inexperienced squad members against what should be a reasonably strong Newcastle first XI.

Whichever side SAF puts out they’ll still be a match for us (acknowledging the recent humbling of our U18’s at home) but if Shola partners Cisse up front or sits slightly deeper, then service to the two of them is Pardew’s No. 1 priority. If he gets it right we could be on for a narrow win :)


NUFCBlog Author: AndyMac AndyMac has written 13 articles on this blog.

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36 Responses

  1. Andy, very sorry but I couldn’t do your fancy formation pics this time. If I could have, I would have, but I couldn’t. I had to do this one really quickly.

  2. AndyMac says:
    September 26, 2012 at 10:31 am

    “Unfortunately, leaving out the “Capital One” part leaves the headline a little flat”

    12 words maximum Andy, otherwise the end gets chopped off and it would have been over that. You have a point though.

  3. Note the time of this post.We will beat man u,because they are not as strong as they believe they are.

  4. Would’nt be suprised to see Gosling and Sammi on the teamsheet tonight. Sammi I can handle on but Gosling is another matter

  5. sampdiago says:

    “We will beat man u,because they are not as strong as they believe they are”

    Could happen Sampdiago but we need to get service to the front two or one or one plus one or………..

  6. Team’s out WT.

    Newcastle United (4-4-1-1): Rob Elliot; James Perch, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (c), James Tavernier; Gabriel Obertan, Cheick Tiote, Dan Gosling, Sylvain Marveaux; Haris Vuckic; Shola Ameobi

    Substitutes: Steve Harper, Shane Ferguson, Gael Bigirimana, Vurnon Anita, Romain Amalfitano, Sammy Ameobi, Papiss Cisse

    plus Rooney starts with Hetrnandez and Wellbeck up front. So much for a weakened junior team :)

  7. I could be wrong but sometimes I think Pardwho just puts all his players names in a paper bag and pulls out the first eleven ?

  8. Not sure if its this format but its definitely the personnel

    MUFC XI:
    De Gea,
    Vermijl, M Keane, Wootton, Buttner
    Fletcher, Anderson,
    Cleverley, Rooney, Welbeck

  9. Quick Poll: Would you be seriously plssed off if we went out tonight, given our weakened side and Europa and BPL fixtures ?

    Me: Definitely PlSSED

  10. maze202 says:

    “I couldn’t care less if we were knocked out here but only if we give the Europa a good go”

    Dont think you’ll get that in writing ever !!!!

  11. AndyMac says:
    September 26, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    “Worky the banter thread is knacked. Cant add comments, so probably not a bad thing”

    Andy, I’ve been offline since trying to fill in the teams before the game. I’ve been shouting at two Indian gadgies, telling them that Richard Branson’s a complete and utter Jeremy Hunt (again). I had no phone, no TV and no Internet late yesterday evening.

  12. Agreed maze great cross but this is supposed to be an inexperienced back four so lets get at them !!!!!!!

  13. Pardwho said “We’ll find out if they’re good enough to play for Newcastle”

    Well let’s sell Gosling to Aston Villa or whoever and give them Vuckic as part of the deal :(

  14. ..and then I saw gosling and marveaux starting instead of bigi or sammy and the prediction crumbled…please villa..