Newcastle United v Manchester United preview: Paul Pogba in line for return at St James' Park
Last Updated: 11/02/18 1:08pm
Manchester United are expected to recall Paul Pogba for the visit to Newcastle United, live on Super Sunday, after the Frenchman was dropped in the win over Huddersfield last weekend.
Pogba was criticised for his performance in the 2-0 defeat by Tottenham on January 31 and manager Jose Mourinho selected Scott McTominay in his place for the routine victory over the Terriers at Old Trafford.
Manchester United will look to build on a record of nine wins from their last 13 Premier League matches against Newcastle at St James' Park. However, Mourinho has never won on Tyneside.
Ahead of the trip to Newcastle, live on Sky Sports Premier League, Mourinho said: "It's true. I think it's the only stadium in the Premier League [where I've not won]. Also Huddersfield but only [managed a game there] once.
"I think it's difficult, honestly, I've always felt beautiful matches but difficult. I like to go there and like the feeling of going to Mr Robson's home.
"I like St James' Park, I think it's really nice and the atmosphere.The fans are good and enthusiastic. I like the Geordies.
"I lost and drew a few times [at Newcastle in the Premier League]. I hope the result is different but I know the characteristics of the game are not going to be different."
Meanwhile, Benitez has dismissed claims his side are defensive ahead of United's trip.
Newcastle were criticised for their approach at home to Manchester City earlier this season, and Benitez believes his side will need to be clinical if they are to emerge with anything from this weekend's encounter.
"One bad result in this league can change everything," he said. "We have to be strong. Sometimes we deserve more, but you have to take your chances."
"Our idea is to win any game, home or away - you can't question our effort we have to learn how to manage games."
Benitez will make a late decision on striker Islam Slimani ahead of Sunday's Premier League clash with Manchester United.
The loan signing from Leicester arrived with a thigh injury and although he is training, he remains a doubt for the game.
Defender Ciaran Clark (knee) and midfielder Mohamed Diame (knock) are fit, but full-back Jesus Gamez (ankle) is not yet ready to return.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic returned to first-team training two days ago, but the Manchester United striker will not be ready for Sunday's trip to Newcastle.
The 36-year-old was given a new one-year deal after recovering impressively from a serious knee injury sustained in April, but managed only seven appearances before suffering a complaint with the same knee.
Ibrahimovic is back in training having last featured on Boxing Day, but will continue to be on the sidelines this weekend - as will Eric Bailly (ankle), Daley Blind (ankle ligaments) and Marouane Fellaini (knee).
- Newcastle have won two of their last 28 Premier League games against Man Utd (D7 L19), failing to win any of their last six (D2 L4).
- Meanwhile, Manchester United have won more away Premier League games at St. James' Park than any other club (12).
- Jose Mourinho has never won a Premier League match at St. James' Park (P6 W0 D3 L3) and has managed more away league games at Newcastle without winning than at any other club in his managerial career; although he has won two League Cup matches there, in November 2004 and December 2006.
- Romelu Lukaku has averaged a goal or assist every 65 minutes against Newcastle United in the Premier League (six goals, four assists in 651 minutes).
- Newcastle are the only Premier League side that Alexis Sanchez has faced more than twice without scoring against (four games), although he assisted twice against them in December 2014.
Manchester United are just efficient, aren't they? They played a weakened Huddersfield at home and fell over the line - you could not come off that pitch and say they could have won by nine, but they were efficient.
Newcastle have got a chance, because Manchester United won't blow you away. Rafa Benitez is one of the best managers at setting teams up not to lose games, and with players like Jamaal Lascelles at set-plays, you never know.
PAUL PREDICTS: 0-2 (11/2 with SkyBet)
What's going on at Newcastle?
We asked Sky Sports News' man in the north-east Keith Downie for the lowdown ahead of Sunday's clash at St James' Park.
Manchester United are odds-on at 4/6 with Sky Bet for the victory as Newcastle go up against odds of 17/4 despite home advantage.
Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku share favouritism at the head of the first goalscorer betting at 7/2 apiece, while Dwight Gayle and Islam Slimani cannot be separated for the visitors at 17/2 apiece.
There's £50,000 up for grabs in Super Sunday's late game with Southampton v Liverpool making up the Sky Sports Fantasy Six-a-Side fixture.