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At least five Manchester United players could bid farewell during Newcastle game

  


Man United host Newcastle in their final match of the season at Old Trafford tonight and here are five things to look out for.

Tonight could be an Old Trafford swansong for a number of players


Can United end their Newcastle league hoodoo?


The last time Manchester United beat Newcastle in the Premier League was the second coming of Cristiano Ronaldo. It was also the last time Steve Bruce managed Newcastle against his old club.


Under Eddie Howe, Newcastle are unbeaten in four league games against United, winning two and drawing two. They also humbled United in the League Cup fourth round at Old Trafford in November.


United won the biggest game in last year's League Cup final but the clubs have been heading in the opposite direction in recent weeks. Newcastle were tenth and six points behind United when the season resumed after the March internationals. Tonight, Newcastle could ensure they finish above United for the first time since 1977.


Amrabat to maintain momentum?


The game was all but done when Sofyan Amrabat replaced Casemiro at half-time against Newcastle in the League Cup six months ago. The weekend defeat to Arsenal marked Amrabat's first league start since December 17 and it was also his finest performance for United.

Whatever the defensive options tonight, Amrabat deserves to retain his place ahead of the walking footballer Casemiro. Should the Moroccan build on his weekend performance then he has to be under consideration for an FA Cup final start.


Fernandes to have an effect?


If this is to be Bruno Fernandes's last season with United, it could end as it started. He could become the third United player to collect the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year for a third time and United looked bereft with their captain absent for both games last week.


Those were the first two club matches Fernandes had ever missed through injury but he was assessed yesterday ahead of a possible return tonight. Cameras will be trailed on him for any tell-tale signs of a farewell.


Raphael Varane will not play but could re-emerge for his send-off. Jonny Evans is a certain starter and it remains to be seen if this is his last game for United at Old Trafford nearly 17 years on from his first. Anthony Martial might surface and Tom Heaton is also out of contract next month.


Staking a claim for Cup final places

There are six certainties to start the FA Cup final: Andre Onana, Diogo Dalot, Kobbie Mainoo, Bruno Fernandes, Alejandro Garnacho and Rasmus Hojlund. The rest depend on fitness and/or form.


Ten Hag stressed last week he won't "gamble" with players' fitness, having done so with Luke Shaw in February and Lisandro Martinez in March. Martinez needs minutes this week and, ideally, another centre back would get at least 45 minutes across the games against Newcastle and Brighton.


Terrible ten?


Lose tonight and United will have lost ten times at home in a season for the first time in the club's history. They have already lost as many matches at Old Trafford as they did when they were relegated in 1973-74.


United have had tremendous backing of late and the supporters are owed a proper performance. These days, one has to stress that extends to victory. Erik ten Hag satisfactorily noted the players had offered a "response" to the debacle at Crystal Palace against Arsenal. A game United lost quite comfortably.




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