Wed | Dec 7, 2016

Man United vs Newcastle

Published:Friday | December 26, 2014 | 12:00 AM

MAN UTD (3-5-2)

DE GEA, JONES, CARRICK, EVANS, VALENCIA, MATA, FLETCHER, ROONEY, YOUNG, VAN PERSIE, FALCAO

NEWCASTLE (4-2-3-1)

PEREZ, AMEOBI, CISSE, GOUFFRAN, SISSOKO, COLBACK, DUMMETT, COLOCCINI, S. TAYLOR, JANMAAT, ALNWICK

Manchester United should

be confident; they have not lost on Boxing Day since 2002, at Middlesbrough, and last lost on this day at

Old Trafford in 1978, when they were beaten 3-0 by Liverpool. Since then, they have won 13 and drawn three of 16 home games on Boxing Day.

Louis van Gaal's men are unbeaten in seven games in the Barclays Premier League, winning six and drawing one, the 1-1 stalemate at Aston Villa last Saturday. That impressive run has seen the Reds rise from 10th place to third and seven points behind leaders Chelsea.

Those who believe the title is beyond Manchester United should take note of the 2002-03 season, when they were third before their Boxing Day game and went on to win the title, though they were only four points behind leaders Arsenal.

Newcastle arrive on the back of three league and cup defeats, most recently at home to north-east rivals Sunderland. But a year ago, Newcastle won 1-0 at Old Trafford - their first league victory at Old Trafford since 1972.

Last season, Newcastle won 5-1 on Boxing Day, beating Stoke comprehensively at St James' Park. That was only the Magpies' second home game on Boxing Day since 2003.