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Premier League picks: Newcastle vs. Manchester United prediction Sunday

Two teams in the thick of the battle for Champions League football will meet on Sunday morning at St. James’ Park in the Northwest of England.

Fifth-place Newcastle United is a slight home favorite over third-place Manchester United, but the Red Devils come into the game in stronger form.

Despite their recent wobbles, this has still been a superb season to date for Eddie Howe’s Newcastle United.

The Magpies were not expected to be a top-four side in 2022-23, but they’ve hung around the Champions League places for almost the entire campaign. 

Newcastle vs. Manchester United prediction

That said, things have started to unravel a bit for Newcastle, who are just 4-5-2 (W-D-L) in the 11 matches they’ve played since the World Cup.

That record doesn’t include a loss to Manchester United in the EFL Cup Final, which was a chance for Newcastle to win their first major trophy since 1955. 

The results may not be there for Newcastle, but there aren’t any major concerns with how the Magpies have been playing of late.

Alejandro Garnacho of Manchester United
Manchester United via Getty Imag

The team lost two of its last four matches, but those results came at the hands of Manchester City and Liverpool, which is hardly anything to get worked up about.

Newcastle did seem to stabilize before the international break with a pair of taking-care-of-business victories over Wolverhampton and Nottingham Forest.

Newcastle’s played to a +8.1 expected goal differential over its last 11 matches, and its defensive numbers (8 GA on 10.7 xGA) suggest that this team is still playing at a top-five level. 

Manchester United will test that defensive form, however.

The Red Devils got pasted, 7-0, by Liverpool and then drew last-place Southampton, 0-0, before the break, but before those results, Erik ten Hag’s side was threatening to gate-crash the title race.

Those dreams are now dashed, but United still has plenty to play for as it looks to return to Champions League play in 2023-24. 

Alexander Isak of Newcastle United
Getty Images

Manchester United didn’t score a single goal in its last two Premier League matches, but this is still a potent offensive side that ranks inside the top five in expected goals for, goals scored, shots per 90, and big scoring chances created.

There’s enough here to believe that United will get on the scoreboard even against a strong defense.

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On the other side, Newcastle should also be confident that it’ll be able to create plenty of scoring chances against a United defense that has shown some cracks and will be without Casemiro in the midfield.

You can make the argument that there’s been no more important player to his team than the Brazilian midfielder in the Premier League this season.

This game should be a thriller, and both clubs have the finishing talent needed to finish off the chances they do create. Over 2.5 it is.

Newcastle vs. Manchester United pick

Over 2.5 picks (Caesars)