Newcastle v Man Utd preview

04 March 2009 10:18
Manchester United will be aiming to restore their seven-point lead at the top of the table when they travel to Newcastle on Wednesday night. Chelsea and Liverpool kept up the pressure on United with victories on Tuesday and Sir Alex Ferguson will be demanding his side respond with another win at St James' Park. Wayne Rooney is set to return to the United starting XI after recovering from a virus which ruled him out of Sunday's Carling Cup final. Dimitar Berbatov, Edwin van der Sar, Michael Carrick, Park Ji-sung and Darren Fletcher all return to the squad after being rested at the weekend. It means Carling Cup hero Ben Foster will make way for Van der Sar in goal and Ferguson could decide to freshen up his squad after the draining effects of their penalty shoot-out win over Spurs. Ferguson is sweating over the fitness of versatile defender John O'Shea who is struggling with a heel problem. Newcastle have a host of injury problems to contend with as they go in search of a much-needed win to boost their survival hopes. Nicky Butt misses out against his former club after picking up a knee problem in Sunday's defeat at Bolton. Kevin Nolan is also suspended meaning Alan Smith could earn a recall to the side in midfield alongside Geremi. Long-term injury victims Michael Owen, Joey Barton, Habib Beye, Danny Guthrie, Xisco are all still missing for the Magpies. Mark Viduka is pushing for a start after coming off the bench against Bolton, while Obafemi Martins is set to start in attack. Possible starting XIs Newcastle: Harper, S Taylor, Coloccini, Bassong, Enrique, Gutierrez, Smith, Geremi, R Taylor, Ameobi, Martins. Man Utd: Van der Sar, O'Shea, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Fletcher, Carrick, Giggs, Ronaldo, Berbatov, Rooney.

Source: SKY_Sports