Barclays U-21 Premier League
Friday 28 September
Moss Lane, Altrincham
Kick-off: 19:00 BST. Live on MUTV
Reds in Under-21 action
United resume Barclays Under-21 Premier League duties against Newcastle on Friday night with Warren Joyce’s side aiming to maintain a 100 per cent record in the new division.
After wins against Stoke and Tottenham, the Reds face a North-East double header stretched over a long weekend with the Magpies at Moss Lane before a trip to Sunderland on Monday night.
With Scott Wootton and Michael Keane playing for 90 minutes against the Tynesiders’ senior team on Wednesday, and in contention for Sir Alex’s squad against Spurs on Saturday, there will probably need to be a defensive reshuffle.
Tom Thorpe, Michele Fornasier, Tyler Blackett and Frederic Veseli are options at the back with Marnick Vermijl’s right-sided slot also likely to be up for grabs after his involvement at Old Trafford.
Italian duo Davide Petrucci and Federico Macheda can expect to feature while Joshua King and Jesse Lingard were unused substitutes in the Capital One Cup and so should be fresh. Larnell Cole is available after scoring in a behind-closed-doors win against Wigan last week.
Newcastle sit above United in the table in second place, albeit having played two games more, and 17-year-old Adam Campbell, already being dubbed the ‘new Alan Shearer’ in some quarters, will be one to watch with four goals in four games after a fruitful Milk Cup campaign in the summer. Bradden Inman has also been amongst the goals while Romain Amalfitano and Mehdi Abeid have been named in the squad.
The Reds are aiming for a hat-trick of wins against the Sports Direct Arena outfit after the Under-18s and first team both triumphed over the course of the last week and, last season, a thrilling 6-3 success on Tyneside clinched the Reserves title.
“Last year, up there, wasn’t a good game if you’re a coach, but we showed a tremendous amount of courage and character to come back to win that game and also the league on the night,” recalled Joyce. Those in attendance at Altrincham’s Moss Lane will be hoping for similar excitement this time around.