Sir Alex Ferguson will expect a reaction against Newcastle but they will struggle to contain Demba Ba in this form...
Demba Ba has scored in both of his Premier League appearances for Newcastle against Manchester United
At least one half of Newcastle's deadly Senegalese duo is doing the business in the Premier League at the moment - Demba Ba. The Magpies number 19 has notched five in his last three league starts, including a brace against Reading last weekend. Since compatriot Papiss Cisse arrived last January it would seem he and Ba have come to a limelight-sharing agreement rather than score in tandem, no doubt a huge source of frustration to the tightly wound Alan Pardew. At least someone is banging them in though and come Saturday the identity of his scorers will not be of any great concern to the manager.
Wayne Rooney has scored 10 Premier League goals against Newcastle, his joint-best haul against any opponent in the competition (along with Arsenal, Villa and Portsmouth)
One person hoping that Robin van Persie's claim about wanting to provide more assists comes to fruition is Wayne Rooney. Man United's main man of the last four or five seasons has been eclipsed by the arrival of the Dutchman and his goal-getting exploits so far this season. However, Rooney is not the kind of spirit who will stay in RVP's shadow for long, especially if the new boy begins to repay some of the exquisite service Rooney has been supplying. The England striker's pass for his Van Persie's second in the Champions League shows Rooney is hitting form again after his frustrating absence. As the above stat suggests there is no better team for him to get back on the scoring horse against than Newcastle.
The Red Devils have recouped more points from losing positions than any other team in the Premier League this season (9)
It has been plainly obvious to all that Man United have been firing on an inadequate amount of cylinders so far this season, but, frustratingly for their opposition, mostly still winning. Just ask Nigel Adkins or Brendan Rodgers how they felt after the Red Devils rolled out of town in the past few weeks. The overriding characteristic in all these games, especially against Tottenham at the weekend, has been an inability to hit any tempo in the first half. This United team at present seem to need to go a goal or two down before springing into a rear-guard action. There is vulnerability in United's defence but they possess the quality in attack to make up for it and Sir Alex will expect a reaction here.