Newcastle United v Manchester United: Match Preview

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Newcastle United v Manchester United; Sports Direct Arena; Barclays Premier League; Wednesday 4 January 2012, 20:00

Team News

Newcastle winger Gabriel Obertan has recovered in time to face his former club after suffering from an infected toe.

However, Alan Pardew will be without Danny Guthrie [groin] and Peter Lovenkrands [calf] who are nearing first-team returns.

Manchester United are set to welcome back Wayne Rooney, after the England striker was reportedly dropped against Blackburn Rovers for disciplinary reasons.

Sir Alex Ferguson has also received defensive injury boosts in the form of Rio Ferdinand [back] and Chris Smalling [tonsilitis] who are back in contention for the trip to Tyneside.

United unfazed by Newcastle atmosphere

Dimitar Berbatov insists that Manchester United's players will not be affected by a vociferous atmosphere created by the Newcastle faithful in tonight's Barclays Premier League encounter at the Sports Direct Arena.

The 30-year-old striker, who has scored six goals in his last three appearances for the Red Devils, is expecting a raucous crowd when they return to Tyneside this evening but is adamant that it will have no bearing on the side's performance.

"Okay, it's a bit more passionate there, a bit louder than other places, but I don't think it will affect us much," said Berbatov.

"We're professional players and we experience this every game. We go there as if it's any other game."

Sir Alex Ferguson's side go into the game three points adrift of league leaders and local rivals Manchester City, after their comfortable 3-0 victory over Liverpool last night.

Berbatov knows that United will face a stern test when they face the Magpies, who, despite falling off the pace in recent weeks still sit sixth in the table.

"I think Newcastle have a really good team and good players," he added. "I don't think anybody should be surprised by their position.

"If you're high in the table then you deserve to be there."

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