Manchester United v Newcastle: Greenwood the value play with all eyes on Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo.
Cristiano Ronaldo will return for Manchester United against Newcastle.
  • Manchester United vs Newcastle United
  • Sat 11 Sep, 15:00

Cristiano Ronaldo is back at Old Trafford and Dan Fitch is backing Manchester United to mark his return by winning to nil against struggling Newcastle...

"In their last outing, Manchester United kept their first clean sheet of the season against Wolves. Newcastle failed to score in their sole away game this season and the possible injury to Wilson, could see them without their most likely goalscorer. "

Back Manchester United to beat Newcastle to nil at 2.01/1

Club legend Ronaldo returns to Old Trafford

All eyes will be on Cristiano Ronaldo on Saturday, with the Portuguese superstar set to make his second debut for Manchester United, following his transfer from Juventus.

Ronaldo returns to Old Trafford as a very different player, to the tricky teenage winger that first arrived from Sporting Lisbon in 2003. Understandably less mobile at the age of 36, Ronaldo will be employed as a central striker and there's no reason to think that he won't make a big contribution.

Since signing for Juventus three years ago, Ronaldo has scored 101 goals in 134 games, while at international level, he's notched nine goals in ten appearances this year alone, with his two latest strikes for Portugal seeing him break the international scoring record. Manchester United have struggled to score goals in recent games, with Mason Greenwood coming to their rescue to earn a point at Southampton and then a win at Wolves. With Ronaldo now in their squad, they have another reliable cutting edge.

As well as Ronaldo, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has welcomed back Dean Henderson, Scott McTominay and Jadon Sancho back to training this week, after injury. Marcus Rashford is the only unavailable player, with a long-term shoulder injury.

Manchester United

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Newcastle United

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Saturday 11 September, 15:00

Full stats

Bruce under pressure after struggling start

The pressure is already on Steve Bruce, after a poor start to the season from Newcastle.

After twice being ahead in their opening game against West Ham, they lost 4-2 and were then beaten 2-0 by Aston Villa. A goalless draw at home to Burnley in the EFL Cup followed, with the Magpies losing on penalties, before Newcastle drew 2-2 at home to Southampton in their last Premier League outing, conceding the equaliser in stoppage time.

Bruce has long been unpopular with sections of the Newcastle fans and a statement recently released by the club, made it clear that they think that this squad shouldn't be involved with a relegation fight. To be fair to Bruce, he's kept them well clear of the bottom three during his two seasons in charge, but with his team expected to lose this match, Newcastle could well fall into the drop zone before the weekend is out.

The injuries are already wracking up at Newcastle, with Martin Dubravka, Karl Darlow, Isaac Hayden and Jonjo Shelvey definitely out. There are also doubts regarding Paul Dummett, Ryan Fraser and most worrying of all, Callum Wilson.

Second clean sheet for hosts

Manchester United are the heavy favourites at 1.232/9, with the draw at 7.87/1 and a Newcastle win at 16.015/1.

In their last outing, Manchester United kept their first clean sheet of the season against Wolves. Newcastle failed to score in their sole away game this season and the possible injury to Wilson, could see them without their most likely goalscorer.

Manchester United are 2.01/1 to win to nil. That looks like a decent price if Wilson is fit to play and a good one if he's out.

Ronaldo short price to score, but Greenwood remains value

Ronaldo is just 1.501/2 to score, so if backing him to find the net, go for him to be first goalscorer at 3.39/4. It will be interesting to see how Ronaldo's signing impacts the productivity of Bruno Fernandes, who can be backed to score at 1.9520/21. We have to assume that Ronaldo will now be taking Manchester United's penalties and probably any free-kicks within shooting distance.

Better value than Fernandes is Greenwood. The teenage has scored in all three of United's Premier League games this season and should start on the right of the attack, with Sancho just returning from injury. Greenwood is 2.6313/8 to score.

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