Newcastle will go in search of their first win at Old Trafford in almost nine years when they face a Manchester United side forced to work hard for a win in Europe on Thursday.
It took a stoppage-time goal from Scott McTominay to break brave Omonia Nicosia’s resistance in the Europa League with United missing chance after chance over the 90 minutes.
By contrast, the Magpies were merciless in their 5-1 destruction of Brentford at St James’ Park last weekend, converting all but one of their shots on target in the club’s biggest home win since 2016.
Eddie Howe’s team are buzzing after back-to-back Premier League wins moved them up into sixth place, one point and one place behind the Red Devils.
A win in Manchester on Sunday afternoon would take Newcastle above their hosts in the table — just like they were after Yohan Cabaye’s winner in December 2013.
McTominay is suspended for the visit of the Magpies after collecting his fifth yellow card of the campaign at Goodison Park last week.
Anthony Martial missed the Europa League win with a back injury he sustained against Everton and it might be too much of a risk to play so soon afterwards with even bigger games on the horizon.
Marcus Rashford and Cristiano Ronaldo will therefore vie for the striker’s berth with Antony on the right and Jadon Sancho will be hoping for a recall on the left.
Harry Maguire, Donny van de Beek and Aaron Wan-Bissaka remain out of contention because of injury.
For Newcastle, record signing Alexander Isak will be absent for a third game in a row, although his thigh injury is improving.
Fellow Swede Emil Krafth is making slow progress from a cruciate ligament injury and could potentially be out for the remainder of the season.
Jonjo Shelvey is back on the grass but has not yet trained fully, while Matt Ritchie could be sidelined until after the World Cup because of a calf problem.
Newcastle welcomed Joelinton, Allan Saint-Maximin and Chris Wood back from injury last Saturday with all three coming off the bench.
However, Howe will be loath to change a winning line-up and the smart money will be on the same XI that began against Brentford being selected again.
Saint-Maximin has a fine recent record against United, producing two goals and an assist in his last three outings against them.
Newcastle’s most creative force this term has been right-back Kieran Trippier, who has also played more passes into the box than any other Premier League player this term (124) and is responsible for carving out the most chances from set-plays in the top flight this season (11).
The boyhood United fan has also racked up 32 accurate crosses this season, which is the most of any Premier League player.
Team-mate Bruno Guimaraes currently statistically ranks as the Premier League’s leading midfielder on tackles, ball carries, chances created and through balls per 90 minutes.
After not scoring in any of his first seven Premier League appearances against Newcastle, Cristiano Ronaldo has netted seven in his past five against the Magpies.
Goodison Park bore witness to Ronaldo’s 103rd Premier League goal last weekend, a tally that beats his Serie A (81) and Primeira Liga (three) totals but trails far behind the final number he managed in Spain’s La Liga — 311 in just nine seasons.
Newcastle could not be in better spirits coming into this game after two emphatic wins with dominant performances.
The Magpies have stood toe to toe with both Manchester City and Liverpool this season — and could easily have returned four points from those fixtures.
So they will not fear going up against a United team that are gradually beginning to adhere to Erik ten Hag’s philosophy.
However, overconfidence could be their undoing and the value in the match market is on a home win at 10/11 via LiveScore Bet, given United have won the last five head-to-head clashes at Old Trafford.
Both teams should score in a high-scoring contest that could be decided in midfield, where the battle for superiority between Casemiro and Guimaraes could be enthralling.