By Russell Edge
Former Arsenal star and current Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has said that Saturday’s clash between Newcastle United and Manchester United at Old Trafford is a must for for Jose Mourinho.
The Red Devils are sitting in second place in the table following the end of the international break, but are already eight points behind league leaders Manchester City and level with Tottenham in third.
Newcastle meanwhile have suffered two successive 1-0 defeats, away to Burnley and then at home to Bournemouth in their last outing, and as a result have slipped into 11th place, the lowest rank out of all three newly promoted sides.
Merson, who predicted a draw for Spurs and a win for City, says that Saturday’s clash is a must win for the home side if they want to keep their hopes of catching their local rivals in the title race.
Revealing he expects a 2-0 win for Mourinho’s men in front of their own fans, he wrote on Sky Sports’ website: “It is a must-win game for United as if I get my earlier results right, Man City will be clear and then they will need to win.
“Man Utd have good fixtures coming up, but it will be a difficult game.
“I know they went to Liverpool and Chelsea and did not score. I think the plan was to beat the lesser teams and do not get beat by the big teams.
“Getting beat by Huddersfield has put them behind the eight ball and so they have to win.”
The last meeting between the two sides ended in a 3-3 draw in January 2016, with Paul Dummett netting a last minute equaliser to secure a point for the Magpies at St James’ Park.
In other Newcastle United news, a report has made an outrageous claim over Mike Ashley’s true intentions regarding a proposed takeover at the club.