This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Making his Premier League predictions for Sky Sports, Charlie Nicholas has tipped Newcastle to beat Manchester United at St James’ Park on Sunday.
The Magpies find themselves in the bottom three heading into the weekend clash, having gained just five points from their opening seven league games.
However, the visitors have hardly set the world alight themselves, and arrive at St James’ Park on the back of an underwhelming goalless draw away at AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League.
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Now, Nicholas has suggested Newcastle could spring a surprise and walk away with all three points from their Premier League encounter.
Predicting a 2-1 victory for the hosts, the former Arsenal man remarked: “Steve Bruce goes up against his old team – it is an intriguing one. The last time Newcastle were at home, they were dreadful. You have to give the fans something at home, they are an amazing bunch of supporters.
“Manchester United are sitting in 10th with two wins in seven, scrambling for points at home. There is a lot of demands in place but (Ole Gunnar) Solskjaer has his plan for the youth and the club. His vision will take time.
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“One week, Newcastle will surprise everybody, and this may be this week. If they hit them and are aggressive, they can shock Manchester United.”
Amidst the Red Devils’ struggles, there perhaps will be no greater time than on Sunday for Newcastle to pull off a shock win. Solskjaer’s side have struggled to find the back of the net this season, and have failed to score more than one goal in a league game since their 4-0 drubbing of Chelsea in the opening fixture.
And, after suffering a 5-0 humiliation at Leicester last weekend, a goal-shy opponent is exactly the kind of team the Magpies will want to face. Bruce’s men will surely want to make amends for their horror show, and so it is perfectly set up for them to give the Toon Army something to cheer about with a victory at home over United.