Man Utd V Newcastle at Old Trafford : Match Preview
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Kagawa doubtful for Magpies clash
Manchester United boss David Moyes has confirmed Shinji Kagawa is a doubt for Saturday's Premier League encounter with Newcastle.
The Japan playmaker has picked up a sickness bug and was ill immediately after Wednesday night's 1-0 home defeat by Everton.
"Shinji has a sickness bug," said Moyes. "We need to see how he is on Saturday but he wasn't too good after the game."
With Wayne Rooney suspended, Moyes could do with Kagawa being available as Robin van Persie has been missing for a fortnight with groin and toe problems.
And the United boss refused to say whether the Dutchman could feature against Alan Pardew's men.
"You can ask, that doesn't mean I will answer," he said. "Like every club we have a few injuries. Some have a chance and some don't."
Everton's first victory at Old Trafford since 1992 has led to a storm of criticism being unleashed on Moyes, who attempted to brush it off as he spoke at the Aon Training Complex.
"It's football isn't it?" he said. "It can happen at any club and it has happened here. I hoped it wouldn't but it has.
"It was our first defeat in 13 games. Now I hope we can do something very similar in the coming games."
Moyes insisted the situation was not as bad as has been depicted.
Neither did he feel the performance on Wednesday warranted the kind of training ground reaction some had suggested was required.
"I think I saw a response in the game. We weren't that bad that I felt we needed a big response," said Moyes.
"People who watched the game - they would have got lots of belief from it. There were chances in the game we didn't take. It could quite easily have been very different.
"Unless you are someone who doesn't understand the game too much you would have seen that.
"These are good players. They have been here before. They know what is expected of them. They will do the right things."
Moyes insisted United would do "everything we possibly can" to haul back leaders Arsenal, who have opened up a 12-point lead on the Old Trafford outfit.
There is a widespread expectation new faces will arrive during next month's transfer window, something Moyes confirmed.
"The club has always thought about strengthening," he said. "You do that every transfer window. We will try and make that happen."
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is determined not to leave Old Trafford wondering what might have been once again as he looks to inflict further misery on Manchester United.
On Saturday lunchtime, the Magpies will run out at a stadium which represented a fortress under Sir Alex Ferguson intent on inflicting a second successive Barclays Premier League defeat on the reigning champions on their own pitch following Everton's midweek triumph.
History is not on Newcastle's side - they last won at Old Trafford in February 1972 when Pardew was a 10-year-old schoolboy - but they came desperately close to ending that run last season.
They led 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 on Boxing Day last year before Robin van Persie and, with just a minute remaining, Javier Hernandez snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, and the now 52-year-old Magpies manager is hoping to go one better this time around to end a long wait.
Pardew said: "It's an incredible statistic - at least I can't be blamed for all of it. It's my third trip there and I have to say, I thought we were very close last year.
"We made a couple of errors late in the game that cost us a win there, and it's one of the really upsetting games from last year.
"I don't want that feeling walking out of there. Hopefully we can get a result."
Pardew will head for the dug-out to do battle with Moyes for the first time since his switch from Everton to United, and will do so with his club sitting two places and one point better off than their ninth-placed opponents.
Moyes is currently grappling with the unenviable task of trying to fill the shoes vacated by Ferguson with mixed results to date, and both West Brom and Everton have already won at Old Trafford this season.
However, Pardew is not convinced the aura has deserted the famous stadium.
He said: "Well, I don't know about that. It's still a very daunting place to go. There's an aura about it. It is a great stadium to go and play and be lucky enough to be the manager and take a team there.
"It's still a very, very difficult place to win and we have got to raise our game to a new level to win there. But we are capable of doing that."
Newcastle's defeat at United last season came at the start of a run of games which included a 7-3 reverse at Arsenal and an FA Cup exit at Championship Brighton which set the alarm bells ringing in earnest.
Indeed, it prompted owner Mike Ashley to invest heavily in the January transfer window as Mathieu Debuchy, Massadio Haidara, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Moussa Sissoko and Yoan Gouffran were drafted in to spark a recovery of sorts, albeit one which helped them to only just retain their top-flight status.
Of the men who started that day, only Tim Krul, Davide Santon, Mike Williamson and Fabricio Coloccini are likely to do so this time, an illustration of the change Pardew's team has undergone since.
Newcastle's winning sequence was ended at the fifth time of asking at Swansea on Wednesday evening, and while that came as a blow, the manager is hopeful of a response.
He said: "We have good confidence even with the result on Wednesday night. I don't think that will dent it too much.
"We will go there and quite fancy ourselves - but that's easier said than done."
Pardew will make a late check on striker Papiss Cisse.
The Senegal international missed Wednesday night's defeat at Swansea with a heel problem and will be assessed on Friday.
However, midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa, who did not travel to the Liberty Stadium because of illness, reported for training on Thursday and is expected to be available at Old Trafford.
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