The Manchester United fans are feeling confident in the Transfer Tavern ahead of their trip to St James’ Park today.
Football is full of weird and wonderful statistics that fill supporters with surprise and amazement, and Man United’s trip to Newcastle today certainly carries a record which Jose Mourinho will be desperately hoping to break. The Red Devils boss has something of a St James’ Park hoodoo, as he has failed to record a Premier League victory at Newcastle’s home ground within his esteemed managerial career so far.
Mourinho orchestrated a 1-0 victory at St James’ in a League Cup match in December 2006 courtesy of a 79th-minute strike from Didier Drogba, but he has failed to defeat Newcastle in the league in 6 attempts, 3 of which ended in defeats for the Portuguese manager. Despite his poor record on this particular ground, he will be fully expecting his side to record victory over Rafa Benitez’s side today.
United have been buoyed by the arrival of Alexis Sanchez of late, and the Chile international’s arrival has certainly injected some excitement back into a club which has struggled to remain positive this year due to the ominous dominance of their local-rivals in the league.
However, Sanchez’s performance may not be the most devastating in United’s attack today, as Anthony Martial’s recent form suggests he will the man to pick Newcastle’s defence apart and fire United to victory on Tyneside.
The French striker who has been widely-tipped for huge success in European football has often been criticised by fans and pundits alike for his apparent poor attitude and failure to achieve his potential so far, but his performances in January suggest he has turned a pivotal corner in his development.
Martial (valued at £58.5 million by Transfermarkt) is almost impossible to defend against when he has his head in the right place and discovers his brilliant best form. The former Monaco star’s ability to glide past opponents with pace and agility whilst keeping the ball close to his feet could prove to be United’s most dangerous weapon this afternoon.
But Martial has begun to demonstrate that he has the end product to match the build-up play in recent weeks with 3 goals and an assist from his 4 Premier League outings in January, so Newcastle should be fearful of another Martial masterclass today.
Sanchez is the type of player who will always seek to be the focal-point in attack, and his importance to United’s victory should not be underestimated, but Martial is the player who The Magpies should focus on nullifying this afternoon if they are to stand any chance of avoiding a hammering on home turf.
Historically, the North London derby isn’t an easy game to predict. But if you are willing to take a position on the big rivalry game this Saturday, we have an Premier League outright win treble that will pay out handsomely! In this week’s Accy Show, we’ve also put together a fantastic EFL fourfold, with odds that could see you earn ten times your stake. Check it out and let us know where you’re putting your coins this weekend!