Alan Pardew

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter


Alan Pardew is predicting yet another thriller on Tyneside as Manchester United come visiting on Sunday in the Premier League (4pm kick-off).

Over the years, fixtures between Newcastle and the Red Devils have been anything but dull, with goals galore and some memorable encounters.

No Magpies fan will ever forget that 5-0 thumping in 1996, while January's 3-0 triumph was also one to savour for those of a black and white persuasion.

And Pardew reckons there could be plenty of drama again, due to weakened defences and a plethora of attacking talent on display.

"Manchester United have had defensive issues and they've got injuries in that area, with Vidic and Jones," said Newcastle's manager.

"They are the same as us - we have no (Steven) Taylor, (Fabricio) Coloccini or Tim (Krul), so both teams are not as strong as they could be at the back. You cannot imagine it's going to be 0-0.

"I'm sure Sir Alex will have worked on his back four, as we have, to make sure they are as drilled as possible.

"But with such brilliant flair players on the pitch as Rooney, Hernandez, van Persie, Demba Ba, Papiss and Ben Arfa, you can't expect it to be anything but an entertaining game."

Newcastle go into the back of the fixture on an impressive 3-0 Europa League win over Bordeaux, while they have tasted defeat once in six Premier League games this season.

"We could have done with an easer fixture to keep our rhythm going, as it's hard to get rhythm against Manchester United," said Pardew.

"They pass the ball so well and have such great players.

"But in terms of momentum we couldn't go in to it in a better mode. Hopefully we will take that into the game and give a good account of ourselves."