United are a top priced 1.75 with Paddy Power to bounce back from their humiliating defeat at the hands of Blackburn and beat Newcastle at St James’ tonight, and everything suggest they will do just that.
New Year’s Eve turned into a 70th birthday nightmare for Sir Alex when Steve Kean’s men pulled off the unthinkable, but if the past is anything to go by he will have read the riot act to the players and they will respond with a victory.
It happened after the Manchester derby when they showed discipline and determination to get a result against Everton, and I am expecting the same response this evening against a side that they have a terrific record against.
United have won 13 and lost none of the last 18 matches against the Magpies in the Premier League, and come into this unbeaten in their last 10 away games.
They have won the last five of them, and face a Newcastle side who have started to falter after after a flying start to their campaign.
OK, Alan Pardew’s men did manage to come away with a point when they two sides met at Old Trafford back in November. But they were lucky to do so in a 1-1 draw which saw United manage 29 shots on goal compared to their eight.
It will surely not be a similar scenario tonight with Sir Alex expected to field a full strength side including Wayne Rooney who has an incredible goalscoring record against Newcastle.
Wazza has scored nine goals in 13 Premier League games against the Toon Army, and six in his last six appearances on Tyneside.
That makes the 5 on offer with Paddy Power about him netting the opener look cracking value, as does the 2.1 with them for him to score anytime during the 90 minutes.
Everything suggests that he is the one to be on in both markets, and I think he can fire united to a comfortable victory.
Whatever the outcome, it is a win which is all important to the club and fans.
It is 16 years since United lost their opening league game of a New Year and it’s vital that record is extended tonight.