Newcastle United face an enthralling encounter at The Theatre of Dreams, Old Trafford, Manchester on Sunday afternoon when The Red Devils in 5th place play The Magpies in 6th spot for a chance for both to prove their Champions League credentials.
Both sides enjoyed wins last weekend in The Premier League with Eddie Howe's entertainers hitting five goals past Brentford with The Magpies' high press forcing errors from The Bees defence in the manner that Brentford themselves had marauded Eric Ten Hag's Man United 4-0 earlier in the season in a similar fashion:
Starboy Bruno Guimaraes was the conductor of the orchestra with a two-goal display - a fine header to cap an excellent Newcastle set-piece routine and a great solo goal - that was the talk of the Town and further afield as stats emerged that the 8-times capped Brazil international is a leading midfielder in The Premier League:
In fact Newcastle - whose 6th place position is a false one due to refereeing controversy that has robbed at least two if not four or six points - are near the top of The Premier League statistics bars for a wide range of key stats indicating Eddie Howe is in charge of one of the most attacking sides in the League and one with the equal best defence:
Smashing five goals against Brentford after hitting four goals away to Fulham was a nine-goal scoring spree in back-to-back games not managed by Newcastle since Sir Bobby Robson's Alan Shearer-led style did it in September, 2001 proving The Magpies are both on a roll and rolling back the years to the near-glory Champions League days:
It bodes well for Newcastle for the rest of the season especially as these goals and results have been recorded without record signing Alexander Isak and until the last ten minutes of Saturday's game, talisman Allan Saint-Maximin as well as club playmaker Jonjo Shelvey, all of whom ominously are returning to fitness and will play soon.
Manchester United, meanwhile, have bounced back from a double defeat to start the season against Brighton at home and Brentford away to put an impressive run of results together that has seen them rise from the bottom of the Premier League table to sixth place under Erik Ten Hag amassing 15 points from eight games:
Yet that 6-3 mauling at Man City will be fresh in the memory and Newcastle can certainly capitalize on insecurities still lurking in the Old Trafford mindset.
A good comeback 2-1 at Everton on Sunday saw Cristiano Ronaldo's 700th club goal with this excellent second half strike after the Portuguese great latched onto a ball from former Real Madrid teammate Casemiro:
Yet The Red Devils stuttered in The Europa League last night, only winning in FergieTime against Omonia Nicosia after an excellent display by goalkeeper Francis Uzoho:
Scorer Scott McTominay is banned from the Old Trafford clash on Sunday against Newcastle after collecting a fifth booking of the season but its the enduring favouritism given to Man United that Newcastle have to fear most.
Known as VARchester United on social media, Manchester United often get the benefit of the doubt from Premier League officials like being given the advantage to an attacker like Marcus Rashford enjoyed at Old Trafford in a tight game against Liverpool:
Yet Newcastle didn't enjoy the same advantage against Liverpool when debutant Alexander Isak scored a second delightful goal which was given offside with even Manchester United fans questioning the call in respect of the Rashford decision:
It's part of a wider pattern of injustice that Newcastle have experienced this season and previous campaigns that is preventing the club reaching its potential on the pitch:
Yet the Magpies will approach the game with confidence after trouncing a Brentford side 5-1 that thrashed Man United 4-0 earlier in the season:
In his pre-match presser Eddie Howe declared record signing Alexander Isak out with injury and that JonJo Shelvey is still out:
Yet despite the confidence gained from back-to-back wins, Howe is keeping his and his squad's feet on the ground ready to meet a big challenge at Man United:
Prediction - Newcastle United 2 Man United 1