Sky Sports pundit states his prediction for Man United v Newcastle

Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas reckons Man United will return to winning ways against Newcastle on Boxing Day

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Photo: Sky Sports)

Charlie Nicholas is backing Manchester United to bounce back from a defeat at Watford with a comfortable win over Newcastle on Boxing Day.

The Red Devils looked to have turned a corner under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after Manchester United beat Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City in consecutive games.

However, David De Gea endured a forgettable trip to Watford after the Manchester United goalkeeper was at fault for the opening goal before Troy Deeney’s doubled the home side’s lead.

Manchester United will welcome a Newcastle side that have managed to hoist themselves into mid-table thanks to a run of three victories in their last four league games.

But former Arsenal midfielder Nicholas is backing Manchester United to win 2-0 against Newcastle at Old Trafford on Thursday afternoon.

“How many times do I have to say this about Steve Bruce?” Nicholas told Sky Sports.

“They are in a sensational position and are probably just three wins away from safety. Their defence is solid, and it has been extraordinary what he has done here.

“Manchester United were shocking at Watford – they have not turned the corner at all. The Scott McTominay and Fred partnership will not improve at all. They were celebrating that Paul Pogba is back, saying United played better when he came on, but did they?

“Was it better or was it not as bad as it originally was? I think Pogba wants out and when you balance it up, it is not encouraging.

“Surely they must get the three points as the fans will be all over them if they don’t get the result here.”

Manchester United’s defeat at Watford on Sunday was their first loss in seven Premier League games.

Remarkably, the 20-time English champions have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 13 games, which is a club record.

Manchester United are in eighth spot and seven points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea FC in the Premier League table.

Newcastle are one place behind Manchester United after amassing 25 points after 18 games – eight more than at this stage of last season under Rafael Benitez.

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