BBC Sport pundit predicts Man United v Newcastle United

Mark Lawrenson looks ahead to Man United's home clash against Newcastle United on Boxing Day

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

Mark Lawrenson is backing Manchester United to bounce back to winning ways with a home win against Newcastle United on Boxing Day.

The Red Devils head into the clash looking to respond after the disappointment of their surprise 2-0 loss to Watford last time out.

Manchester United have struggled to find consistent form in the Premier League all season and they currently find themselves down in eighth place in the table, having won just six of their 18 games.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be keen for his side to claim a victory over the Magpies to kick off the hectic festive period in the top flight.

And former Liverpool FC star Lawrenson is expecting to see the Red Devils claim all three points in front of their home fans in the evening clash on Boxing Day.

Writing in his column for BBC Sport, Lawrenson said: “I cannot believe that, after Sunday’s defeat by Watford, Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer came in said they had played like they were in a testimonial in the first half.

“I really don’t get that. Even if you thought it, you would not say it to the press because instantly you are going to be asked ‘why you didn’t motivate them better, and get them at it?’

“It tells you a lot about the character – or perhaps the lack of it – in Solskjaer’s squad that they go to Manchester City away and play extremely well, then two weeks later they are away at Watford and don’t turn up.

“Paul Pogba will probably start in this game after coming off the bench against Watford, but I don’t see Anthony Martial is the answer down the middle.

“One week he looks like a proper player, the next it feels like he has barely played the game. It is very strange.

“Even so, they should still have too much for Newcastle, if they can get their tempo right.

“Magpies boss Steve Bruce is doing a great job at and he will get a great reception from the fans at Old Trafford – but he will not be leaving with the points.”

Manchester United are aiming to finish in the top four this season after having come sixth in the table last term.

After the clash with the Magpies, Manchester United will take on Burnley and Arsenal away from home in the Premier League.

The Red Devils will then face Wolves away from home in their FA Cup third-round tie at the start of January.

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