Newcastle United have to be giddy over their prospects on Saturday of snapping a winless streak as the away team against Manchester United that dates back to 1972.
This match is not just about snapping streaks. It has implications in the table. With 23 points, Newcastle has a point edge in the Premier League table over the ninth-place Red Devils.
It's been an uneven season at Old Trafford in the first season under boss David Moyes. That trend doesn't seem to be coming to an end.
Prior to their last match, Manchester United had gone 12 straight matches in all competitions without picking up a loss. Then they fell 1-0 to Everton—Moyes' former club. Like they have with Newcastle, the Red Devils have a long string of victories at home over Everton.
These facts alone are enough to buoy the hopes of Newcastle, but this sends them over the top:
Matchday.. Carrick - injured.. Rooney - suspended.. Kagawa - Sick.. Van Persie - Injured.. God bless us... Now... http://t.co/mDEbTq8eHB— B.E.L.I.E.V.E (@dream2visit_OT) December 7, 2013
In all, this should be a spirited match and a good test for both clubs.
When: Saturday, Dec. 7 at 7:45 a.m. ET/12:45 p.m. GMT
Where: Old Trafford, Manchester
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra
Odds (according to Bovada)
Manchester United -190
Top Storyline: Will Manchester United prove their resilience?
As I mentioned above, the Red Devils have strung together a solid stretch of play prior to the Everton failure. That stretch included an inspiring 1-0 win over table-leaders Arsenal.
All of that momentum came crashing down with the loss to Everton.
Considering Moyes' switch of clubs, that was his chance, and his new team's chance, to prove that move was worth it. Instead, it is the Newcastle faithful who were vindicated in victory. Now, the Red Devils find themselves back in ninth in the table and with shaky confidence.
This is a fragile time for Moyes. He is far too easy of a target to pin any failures of this storied club on. This not only threatens his job security, but it will also be easier for his players to lose motivation when it is the manager taking all the heat.
These struggles will either bring this team together or tear it apart.
Prediction: Manchester United 1-2 Newcastle United
It's hard to believe I'm picking against the Red Devils at Old Trafford, but this is what it has come down to. With the Red Devils' lack of firepower, Newcastle will be able to play aggressively without the usual fear of a quick strike in a counterattack.