Two wins against Tottenham and Manchester City in the space of four days at the start of December suggested Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men were on the comeback.
But a draw at home to Everton and a defeat at the Premier League’s bottom side Watford, which saw David de Gea make a dreadful howler, showed that fans should not be getting ahead of themselves.
- Gary Neville interrupts Jose Mourinho interview while watching David de Gea error
The Red Devils are currently eighth in the Premier League, seven points off a Champions League spot. They come up against a Newcastle side who are only behind them on goal difference on Boxing Day.
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You can listen to full commentary of Manchester United vs Newcastle LIVE on talkSPORT, kick-off 5:30pm with talkSPORT covering all nine Premier League Boxing Day games exclusively for the first time ever.
The Ten Games of Christmas on talkSPORT
talkSPORT will be covering all nine Premier League Boxing Day games exclusively for the first time ever, with a further game on December 27. Find out what the matches are and where you can hear them, below…
- Tottenham vs Brighton (Thursday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT
- Bournemouth vs Arsenal (Thursday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Aston Villa vs Norwich (Thursday, 3pm) – talkSPORT app
- Chelsea vs Southampton (Thursday, 3pm) – talkSPORT app
- Crystal Palace vs West Ham (Thursday, 3pm) – talkSPORT app
- Everton vs Burnley (Thursday, 3pm) – talkSPORT app
- Sheffield United vs Watford (Thursday, 3pm) – talkSPORT app
- Manchester United vs Newcastle (Thursday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT
- Leicester vs Liverpool (Thursday, 8pm) – talkSPORT
- Wolves vs Man City (Friday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT
Alan Brazil suggests Paul Pogba doesn't care about Man United
There was one plus to come from their defeat at Vicarage Road as midfielder Paul Pogba returned to action for the first time since September 30 when he came on as a substitute in the second half.
Pogba will be pushing for a starting role at Old Trafford, although Solskjaer will be mindful that rushing the Frenchman back could only make his ankle worse and injure him again.
Elsewhere, Axel Tuanzebe is a doubt for the Newcastle game as he didn’t feature at Watford through injury.
Diogo Dalot, who has been sidelined for two months, is edging closer to a return and played 72 minutes for Man United’s youth team on Friday.
Defenders Eric Bailly, Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Marcos Rojo are currently working in their fitness.
As for Newcastle, Steve Bruce has doubts over Paul Dummett and Jetro Willems for the trip to Old Trafford.
Defender Dummett picked up a groin problem during Saturday’s win over Crystal Palace, a game wing-back Willems sat out with a knee injury.