By John Reid
Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata is looking forward to his club’s weekend fixture with Newcastle, and the chance to catch-up with Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez.
Mata worked with Benitez at Chelsea in 2013, when the now Newcastle boss was interim manager at Stamford Bridge and managed to win the Europa League and qualify for the Champions League.
The season they worked together at Chelsea was also a personal highlight for Mata, as he was named Chelsea’s player of the year.
Writing in his personal blog, Mata also had words of praise for Newcastle, saying ” they’re much more than just a promoted team, as you know.
“It’s an important club with several Spaniards in it, such as Rafa Benitez, with whom I was lucky to work in the past; it will be nice to meet him again.”
Both Manchester United and Newcastle are coming into the game on the back of defeats in their previous Premier League games.
Newcastle lost 1-0 at home to Bournemouth, whilst Manchester United’s title aspirations were dealt a blow following the 1-0 loss at Chelsea.
Newcastle are currently in 11th place in the Premier League, a respectable position for a side just promoted, they sit five points ahead of the relegation places.
Manchester United are in 2nd place, eight points behind the runaway league leaders Manchester City.
In other Newcastle United news, Rafa Benitez has told his players they can defeat any team in the Premier League