Predicted Man United XI v Newcastle: Enforced changes in midfield & winger returns for Red Devils

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Manchester United will go in search of a third win in a row when they visit Newcastle United tonight.

The Red Devils started 2016 with a 2-1 victory over Swansea City, and then edged past Sheffield United in the FA Cup courtesy of a stoppage-time Wayne Rooney penalty against the League One side.

But United fans are still far from happy with the lack of adventure under Louis van Gaal, who has finally admitted himself that he is bored watching his own team play, as The Guardian reports.

Will the Dutchman make changes for the trip to St James’ Park to make his side more creative, or stick with the status quo? Here, CaughtOffside predicts United’s starting lineup on Tyneside…

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GK: David de Gea

Might have been rested for the visit of the Blades, but Van Gaal went with his first-choice goalkeeper and he responded with his eighth clean sheet in 10 home games.

RB: Matteo Darmian

The Italian has played down talk of a return to Serie A, as the Manchester Evening News reports, and now needs to knuckle down and prove himself at Old Trafford.

CB: Chris Smalling

De Gea would not have kept half of the clean sheets that he has without the help of Smalling, who is arguably one of the few players that United fans are happy with.

CB: Daley Blind

Phil Jones was substituted at half time against Swansea and was not in the FA Cup squad on Saturday. Blind should deputise, and his left foot balances the back four.

LB: Ashley Young

The ex-England international is likely to be used at full-back again with Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and Antonio Valencia still out. He prefers to attack down the left.

CM: Michael Carrick

Was probably rested against Sheffield with this week’s fixtures against Newcastle and Liverpool in mind. United need him to take the lead in terms of upping the tempo.

CM: Morgan Schneiderlin

Bastian Schweinsteiger has picked up a knock but Schneiderlin, who sat out over the weekend because he was in the ‘red zone’ according to the MEN, is expected to be fit.

AMR: Jesse Lingard

The 22-year-old winger was enjoying a run in Van Gaal’s team before he suffered an injury last month. He came off the bench against the Blades and could start at St James’ Park.

AMC: Juan Mata

Unlocking defences has been United’s biggest problem this season and shifting Mata from the right flank into a central area could help in that regard. The Spaniard has the tools.

AML: Anthony Martial

Some United fans might like to see the Frenchman through the middle, but with Lingard on one wing and Martial on the other, they have the pace to get in behind defences.

ST: Wayne Rooney

The Red Devils managed only two shots on target against their League One visitors on Saturday. Rooney needs to take some responsibility for that and have a few more pops on goal!

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More Stories Anthony Martial Ashley Young Chris Smalling Daley Blind David de Gea Jesse Lingard Juan Mata Matteo Darmian Michael Carrick morgan schneiderlin Wayne Rooney