After seeing off Newcastle away for a combined score of 7-0 over the past two Premier League seasons, and with scourge of the Toon Wayne Rooney coming back to goalscoring form at home to Sunderland over the weekend, there’s plenty to like about Manchester United’s chances at St James’ Park.
The Red Devils may have gone down 2-1 to Swansea last time out on the road, but that was their first away loss since being edged out at the Etihad by a sole Sergio Aguero goal against Manchester City at the start of November.
Arsenal, Southampton and QPR have been seen off since by Louis van Gaal’s side on their travels, contributing to a superb run of form over United’s last 17 top-flight outings, of which they’ve won 11 and lost just twice.
However, Van Gaal and co are in desperate need of another away win in order to solidify their top-four spot, putting John Carver’s Geordies directly in the line of fire.
Carver’s men finally delivered their new coach a home win last time out against relegation-threatened Aston Villa, but a run of just three victories in 14 matches all told since early December, which includes eight defeats, isn’t form to write home about.
Betting lessons may be garnered by the manner of those losses, with five of the octet coming by at least a couple of goals, including last time out away to Manchester City, when Newcastle were given a 5-0 lesson.
Considering all of United’s past nine wins have come by at least a two-strike margin, Van Gaal’s side look a giveaway at 5/2 minus a goal, while 3-1 to the visitors at 27/2 also deserves a second look given their clear propensity for this scoreline.
Three of the Red Devils’ past five wins in all competitions have been 3-1s, which was also the score when these sides met at Old Trafford on Boxing Day.
Wayne Rooney bagged the first two that day, his last goals in the Premier League prior to another brace in the aforementioned Sunderland victory.
The scouse stalwart has previous for bagging doubles against the Geordies, doing so four times in his decade-and-a-bit in the red half of Manchester.
Rooney can be backed at meaty 6/4 odds merely to find the net in the north east, 19/4 to score his second first-goal on the spin and the same price to bag another brace.