NEWCASTLE fought for 24 years to get back to Wembley for a shot of silverware.
They finally made it under Eddie Howe only to lose 2-0 and be forced to wait at least another year to end their trophy drought.
Their conquerors that day? Manchester United.
The international break is over and that defeat at Wembley is now a distant memory.
The Toon have their eye on something else now. Something bigger… a top-four spot.
Newcastle haven’t played in the Champions League since 2003 and this is without a doubt their best chance since then.
For context, the likes of Alan Shearer, Shay Given and Kieron Dyer were in the XI for their last appearance at Europe’s top table.
Howe’s side currently sit fifth in the Premier League table – but are only two points behind Tottenham and have two games in hand.
The Magpies are just three points behind Man Utd and know a win would see them leapfrog Erik ten Hag‘s side to sit THIRD.
A defeat, of course, would see them slip six points behind United.
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This is as close to a must-win match as you can get with just 12 games left in the season for both sides.
For United, they finally ended their six-year trophy drought by beating Newcastle to the Carabao Cup.
But the Red Devils had harboured hopes of a QUADRUPLE… for about a week.
They were very briefly in the running for the Premier League title to go with their League Cup win – with their FA Cup and Europa League campaigns still alive.
But a resounding 7-0 loss against Liverpool killed that dream and brutalised their goal difference – which could be problematic late in the season.
They’ll be fighting tooth and nail to avoid a defeat in this one – with their task made all the more tougher by the absence of midfield commander Casemiro.
So for Newcastle it’s a chance at revenge and a huge shot at the Champions League for next season.
Is it the biggest game in their recent history? Even with the Carabao Cup final, you can’t help but think it might be.
What is their form like?
They’ve won their last two Premier League games after back-to-back defeats to Liverpool and Man City threatened to derail their season.
This match could be a true test of their top-four aspirations.
Man Utd: A little bit all over the place.
They’ve failed to win their last two Premier League matches – that 7-0 loss to Liverpool and a 0-0 draw with Southampton.
They can’t stop winning in cup competitions, but this weekend is all about the league.
Who will be the star men?
Newcastle: Bruno Guimaraes.
This match could be won and lost in midfield, with United boasting the stronger attack and Newcastle the tighter defence.
With Casemiro absent, Guimaraes will have even more chance to boss the middle of the park – and that could be crucial.
Man Utd: Marcus Rashford.
Ten Hag will sorely hope his star man is free.
The England ace has been on fire since the World Cup and is arguably the form forward on the planet – up their with Erling Haaland.
He’ll undoubtedly be United’s best bet to make a dent in the Toon’s tough defence.
Newcastle 1 Man Utd 1
What is the team news?
Newcastle: The Toon will be without top scorer Miguel Almiron who is out with a pulled thigh.
But Eddie Howe has been given a timely boost, with Anthony Gordon set to return to the squad after time out with an ankle injury.
Nick Pope picked up a minor injury while away on international duty with England but is expected to feature between the sticks on Sunday.
Fabian Schar was not selected in the Switzerland squad for their Euro 2024 qualifiers due to an injury he picked up in Toon’s away win against Forest.
Howe will be hoping that the 31-year-old defender will be available to partner Sven Botman at the heart of his defence.
Man Utd: Erik ten Hag will be without five-time Champions League winner Camemiro as he remains suspended.
United will be hoping Marcus Rashford is fit for the trip to the North East after he was pulled out of the England squad – as the striker enjoyed some down-time in New York.
It’s understood the Red Devils’ leading goalscorer withdrew due to a toe problem.
Marcel Sabitzer is also a concern after he picked up a knee injury while away with Austria on international duty.
Ten Hag will be hoping to welcome Raphael Varane back from injury for their upcoming Premier League clash.
The Red Devils will definitely be without Christian Eriksen, Donny van de Beek and Alejandro Garnacho.
When is Newcastle vs Man Utd?
- Newcastle vs Man United will be on Sunday, April 2.
- Kick-off will be at 4:30pm UK time.
- St James’ Park will play host.
What channel is Newcastle vs Man Utd on and can it be live streamed?
- Newcastle vs Man United will be shown live on Sky Sports Main Event/Premier League.
- Sky Sports subscribers can live stream all the action via the NOW app, which is free to download on to your mobile or tablet device.
- Alternatively, you can follow SunSport’s live blog to keep up to date with all the action.
- Newcastle – 11/8
- Draw – 23/10
- Man Utd – 19/10
*Odds courtesy of Ladbrokes and are correct at the time of publication.