Man United vs Newcastle Predictions, Picks | Premier League Match Preview

Man United vs Newcastle Predictions, Picks | Premier League Match Preview article feature image

Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images. Pictured: Erik ten Hag.

Man United vs Newcastle Predictions, Picks | Premier League Match Preview

Wednesday, May 15
3 p.m. ET
Man United Odds+162
Newcastle Odds+135
Over / Under
 -300 / +240
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Newcastle and Manchester United battle it out at Old Trafford with Europa and Europa Conference League places at stake.

Manchester United were beaten 1-0 by Arsenal on Sunday, which now puts their hopes of playing European football next season on life support. The Red Devils need all three points from this match but are still dealing with a ton of injuries, so it's going to take a monumental effort to win just their second match since the beginning of April.

Newcastle were unlucky to draw Brighton over the weekend, which means they're now level on points with Chelsea for the Premier League's final Europa League spot. Newcastle has throughly beaten Manchester United twice this season, which will give them a ton of confidence to get all three points at Old Trafford.

Man United

What Arsenal did was control the match from out of possession, they knew that Manchester United was not good enough in their build-up play to break them down and the only way they’d get exposed was in transition — so Arsenal didn’t allow them to do that.

Without Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford, United were only able to create 0.64 expected goals (xG) on 14 shots, which is expected when you are playing the best defensive team in the world. This match kind of suits them to play in transition, but Newcastle does that better than just about any team in the Premier League.

It's the same old story defensively for Manchester United who are going to come out in their flawed tactical setup, trying to press with only their attackers, which will leave space in the middle of the pitch once the first line of pressure is beaten or easy outlet balls out wide. Erik ten Hag is caught between two different setups and doesn't seem to want to change any time soon, so the same Manchester United team that is allowing 2.32 xG per 90 minutes in 2024 and is conceding 17.2 shots per 90 minutes.

The other problem for Manchester United in this matchup is they're a very average team at defending set pieces, which is a massive problem against a Newcastle team that's third in xG per set piece and has also created the second most big scoring chances in the Premier League.


Newcastle has beaten Manchester United twice by using two different defensive structures. In the first meeting, Newcastle was dealing with a lot of injuries and employed a passive 4-5-1 mid-block and constantly turned Manchester United over at the midway line creating easy transition opportunities.

In the second meeting, Newcastle deployed their usual 4-3-3 high press and forced nine high turnovers and having 7.1 passes per defensive action. Their press suffocated United and allowed them to have a 68% field tilt on their way to creating 2.75 expected goals.

So the question is, what is going to change in the third meeting? Not much in my opinion.

Newcastle has been playing more aggressively out of possession over the second half of the season and the way Manchester United wants this match to be played is only going to suit Newcastle. The Magpies love to play very direct, will almost always send the ball long from goal kicks, and are outstanding at winning second balls and getting the ball in behind the last line of defense. If Manchester United are going to go with a center-back pairing of Casemiro and Johnny Evans again, I don't know how they'll stop Newcastle's front three.

Newcastle has created a boatload of chances recently against teams like Burnley and Sheffield United, but Manchester United's defense is just as bad as those two. Since January 30th, Newcastle is averaging 2.20 xG per 90 minutes, which is the third-best mark in the Premier League.

Man United vs Newcastle


I really don't see a way for Manchester United to stop Newcastle's offense in this match. Manchester United can no longer control matches and they are not going to be able to build up with success against Newcastle's press. That means they are likely going to have to send the ball long and play in a back-and-forth transitional match with one of the best transition teams in the Premier League.

Newcastle are still dealing with some injuries across their back line, as it looks like they will have to go with a center-back pairing of Dan Burn and Emil Krafth, which is not great.

With that in mind, I'm going to target the Newcastle offense. I have their team total projected at 2.28, so I like the value on the Magpies Over 1.5 goals at -160.

Pick: Newcastle Team Total Over 1.5 (-160 via DraftKings) 

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