Football tips: Our 3 best bets as Man Utd prepare to pile misery on Newcastle

Our tipster Shane O'Brien picks out his 3 best bets from Sunday's Old Trafford showdown.


* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

Short-price punt: Over 2.5 goals

Newcastle have conceded more goals than all but three teams in the Premier League – a recipe for disaster against a United side who are currently the top scorers in the division. United have netted 50 goals in 24 games and put four past Newcastle when the sides met in October. Granted, three of those came after the 85th minute, but that is not an excuse for Newcastle’s capitulation.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have scored 36 goals against sides in the bottom half of the table and should have no issues breaching a porous Newcastle defence.

Meanwhile, United have the worst defensive record in the top five by quite a distance and have conceded more than a goal per game on average. There is a good chance their comical defending will present Newcastle with a gilt-edged opportunity at some point, regardless of how defensive Steve Bruce sets up. There should be plenty of goals in this one.

Value Punt: Manchester United (-2)

Manchester United’s title dreams may have gone up in smoke following a mediocre run of games, but they looked back to their best in the 4-0 demolition of Real Sociedad in the Europa League. United had previously looked flat and lethargic in their performances against West Ham and West Brom last week but should receive a massive shot in the arm from their fluid display in Turin.

Sunday’s game against Newcastle is a must-win for United, who are now nervously looking over their shoulders at a cluster of teams chasing the coveted Champions League spots. Solskjaer’s side simply have to beat an abject Newcastle at home if they are to build on their morale-boosting win against Sociedad on Thursday, and there really should be no problems for them.

Sunday 7pm: Manchester United v Newcastle
BT Sport 1

From relative safety before Christmas to nervously looking over their shoulder at Fulham now, Newcastle have gradually slid down the Premier League table following a truly dreadful run of results. Steve Bruce’s side appeared to have arrested their downward spiral with two wins in three games, but a comprehensive defeat at Chelsea, coupled with Fulham’s surprise win at Everton, has seen them move perilously close to the relegation places.

They may be in further peril by 9 p.m. on Sunday if Fulham manage to beat Sheffield United.

Bruno Fernandes

Long Shot: Bruno Fernandes to score first and Manchester United to win 3-0

Bruno Fernandes has further exemplified his importance to this United team by carrying through their roughest patch since the start of the season. The Portuguese midfielder struck twice in Turin to seal United’s place in the last-16 of the Europa League, while his volley against West Brom saved United from a humiliating defeat.

Fernandes also scored a beauty in United’s 3-3 draw against Everton, which should have sealed a comfortable win. United simply need Fernandes at his best if they are to make the top four and collect some silverware this season and he appears to have hit top form once again.

With 14 goals, he is by far and away United’s top scorer in the league and can make the difference against Newcastle on Sunday. United will also hope to score at least three against a Newcastle side that has had defensive troubles all season. Solksjaer’s side average almost three goals per game against sides in the bottom half and should put a bad run of league performances behind them with a comprehensive win.

* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

Manchester United v Newcastle tips

Short-price punt: Over 2.5 goals
Value Punt: Manchester United (-2)
Long Shot: Bruno Fernandes to score first and Manchester United to win 3-0


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