Analysis

FLIP’s Picks In-Play: Man Utd vs Newcastle

Written by Sam Hopkinson

Round 3 of the Premier League kicks off at Old Trafford as United look to continue their 100% start to the season with victory over Newcastle. But given United’s performances have been fairly lacklustre in the Premier League so far, could this be a good opportunity for Newcastle to claim their first three points of the season?

There are normally goals when these two meet so it should be a great game to watch, and an even better game for a fantasy league in-play challenge…here are our top picks for selecting your fantasy team.

DEFENDER

Matteo Darmian

Darmian looks to be one of the signings of the season so far and we’re only two games in. Aston Villa got absolutely no joy out of the right back last weekend—the Italian made four tackles and thirteen clearances to help keep a clean sheet for Man Utd. He was named Man of the Match in that fixture, and it’s likely he will carry that excellent form into this game. Darmian looks to be one of the most capable right backs in the league defensively—but he has not shown much yet in terms of going forward. Including Darmian in your starting lineup should be a no-brainer, but it might be an idea to pair him with a more attacking left-back like Luke Shaw (given an honourable mention below) to earn maximum points.

MIDFIELDER

Moussa Sissoko

Sissoko is one of the enigmas of this rather fluid Newcastle first XI. He has one of the best engines in the league, and is capable of storming runs upfield—who can forget him outpacing Ashley Cole with such ease a couple of years ago? However, his weaknesses tend to hold him back, in particular his passing and composure. In the first two games of this season he has completed just 66.7% of his passes, far too low for a key midfielder. Perhaps this won’t be such an issue against a Manchester United side who can be susceptible to driving runs, but Sissoko is really going to have to step up if Newcastle are going to come away with anything from Old Trafford.

STRIKER

Memphis Depay

My, what a player young Memphis looks to be. Man Utd have found a gem to add to their side this season—Memphis has got pace, creativity and a lethal shot on him. Club Brugge found this out all too painfully in their midweek Champions League qualifier. The young Dutchman already looks to be the Red Devils’ most potent attacking threat, with Rooney struggling up front and a dearth of other forward options. He is still learning how to play in the Premier League though, having been dispossessed an average of almost 4 times in his two matches so far. He is yet to score in the league, and a home game against the Magpies might be the day he breaks his duck.

HONOURABLE MENTION

Luke Shaw

Well, we already alluded to it—Luke Shaw is our honourable mention pick for this match. The ex-Southampton man looks determined to put his injury-hit last season behind him. He has been impressive in both games so far, especially defensively, winning an average of four aerial duels per 90 minutes. Shaw is more renowned for his attacking threat though, and FLIP Sports expects him to make good on this reputation at the weekend against his opposite number Daryl Janmaat, who has had a shaky start to the season for the Magpies.

About the author

Sam Hopkinson

Sam has attended matches everywhere from Cambodia to Canada, and is a persistent Spurs fan. If he didn't have football, he'd probably turn to a life of crime just to get that exhilarating fix. Superstitious enough to believe that picking a player for his fantasy team spells doom for the poor sod.