In the mid-to-late-2000’s, one of the biggest managerial rivalries in all of Europe was the enmity shared between Jose Mourinho and Rafa Benitez. They’re in very different places now than they were a decade ago, but when Mourinho’s Manchester United host the Newcastle United team lead by Benitez, that rivalry will be renewed once more.
Mourinho has tried to downplay their history of late, but the Manchester and Newcastle managers went head-to-head in some of the most contentious matches of the Premier League of the time, and fans who enjoyed those days will be keeping an eye on this match hoping for more of the same. Whether or not that will happen is a mystery, as Newcastle aren’t exactly the Liverpool side that made Benitez famous. What is certain though is that he’s going to give Mourinho everything he has and go for the win at all costs, because with all their history he can’t do much else.
Manchester United are receiving a pair of huge boosts to their squad for this match, with both Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba cleared to return to action this weekend. There’s also a strong chance that Marcos Rojo can return to duty this weekend as well, giving their beleaguered defense a much-needed boost in quality. Phil Jones is out, though that’s hardly going to make most United fans sad, and Michael Carrick remains out as well, just as he has all season.
Rafa Benitez has taken a pair of injury blows to his Newcastle squad of late, with captain Jamaal Lascelles and Christian Atsu both sidelined, plus a likely absence in the form of midfielder Mikel Merino. Paul Dummet is healthy again, though, and will be in contention to start in defense, so the news isn’t all bad for the Toon.
Match info, plus how to watch on TV and stream
Match Date/Time: Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET, 5:30 p.m. local
Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester, England
TV: NBC (U.S. - English), Universo (U.S. - Spanish), BT Sport 1 (U.K.)
Listings for more countries can be found at LiveSoccerTV.