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Manchester United vs Newcastle United: 3 Key Duels That Will Decide The Game

Manchester United vs Newcastle United

Manchester United’s six-game winning run ended with a 1-1 draw against Aston Villa on Saturday and the Red Devils will be looking to bounce back on Friday with a win over Newcastle United at Old Trafford. Although the Magpies won the corresponding fixture last season, they have won just twice in their last 25 meetings with United in all competitions.

Although United’s injury crisis doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon, the visitors have injury problems of their own. The Red Devils will be looking to strengthen their grip on third place in what promises to be an exciting clash on Boxing Day. Here are the three key battles that will decide the outcome of this game.

1. Ayoze Perez vs Michael Carrick

Michael Carrick
Michael Carrick

Last season’s top scorer in the Spanish second division, Ayoze Perez has provided the Magpies with some much needed pace up front. While he struggled at the start, to get to grips with the physicality of the Premier League, the Spanish striker is slowly starting to show just why he can be the club’s top scorer this time around. Although he doesn’t always bring his teammates into play and has to work on holding onto the ball, his pace and dribbling ability means that he is a menace to any defense, more so to one that is severely depleted  by injury.

The man tasked with the responsibility of marking him will be Michael Carrick. Since his return to fitness, United have looked a lot more composed on the ball and although he hasn’t always played in central midfield, he has shown that he is more than capable central defender. But Perez’s pace might provide a threat that he hasn’t faced so far and one that he might struggle to overcome if he doesn’t get support from his teammates.