Both Wayne Rooney and his Manchester United manager have this week moved dispel concerns about the Red Devils’ skipper’s ability to deliver the goods as a lone striker.
The 29-year-old has struggled spearheading the Man Utd in the opening three matches of the season; he is still to break his duck for the campaign and came in for heavy criticism for his shortcomings at Aston Villa especially, where he mustered just one touch in the opposition box despite being on the field for 90 minutes.
It’s now nine successive United appearances where Rooney has failed to bag, but that will end with Newcastle in town.
The hosts are 2/5 to topple the Magpies, who assume a monster price of 15/2 to lasso the laurels at Old Trafford, next to the 15/4-rated draw.
With United three wins from as many matches and still to ship a Premier League goal, they’re worthy of this favouritism.
Some expansive attacking play is sure to present Rooney with enough chances to get off the mark and he can be backed to get on the scoresheet in tandem with a home win at 6/4.
It’s even-money he scores at any time and 3/1 says he’ll fire the first of the match.
All three of these wagers would’ve resulted in the lining of the wallet last time around, when the Everton academy graduate struck twice in a 3-1 toppling of Steve McClaren’s charges.
That brace aside, his record against Newcastle isn’t especially noteworthy (his last goal Toon-slaying strike before these came back in 2009), but this isn’t the basis for a bet here.
Rooney’s barren patch started in April last season, but only three of the nine United matches that saw him fail to score took place at the Theatre of Dreams.
His last Red Devils goal came against Aston Villa; it was the fourth successive home game in which he rippled the onion bag.
Newcastle, who have lost seven straight away matches dating back to last season, conceding multiple goals in all bar one along the way, are of the fragile frame of mind to be routed on the road and can expect a tickling from United’s feather duster as their frontmen clear early-season cobwebs.