It’s defensive crisis versus defensive crisis as Manchester United take their depleted rearguard to Newcastle who have similar worries.
Both sides are without at least three key defenders for Sunday’s clash but, unfortunately for Pardew, while the Red Devils are struggling defensively, their offence has clicked into gear nicely this season as Wayne Rooney and new signing Robin van Persie continue to excel.
The two made their first start together in Tuesday’s Champions League tie away at CFR Cluj and Van Persie rescued his side with a brace after going behind early on. Rooney claimed both assists and will be hoping he can open his account for the season on Sunday as he has scored more goals against Newcastle than when facing any other Premier League club.
KICK-OFF: Sunday, 4pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Manchester United 2 (Anderson, Cleverley) Newcastle United 1 (Cisse) Capitol One Cup, September 2012
Newcastle United 3 (Ba, Cabaye, Jones OG) Manchester United 0, Premier League, January 2012
Manchester United 1 (Hernandez) Newcastle United 1 (Ba), Premier League, November 2011
Manchester United have gone behind in five of their six Premier League games this season.
Demba Ba has scored in both of his two Premier League appearances against Manchester United.
If the Magpies avoid defeat it will be the first time since 1989 they have gone four games unbeaten in the league against the Red Devils.
Both Paul Scholes (nine) and Wayne Rooney (10) have scored more goals against Newcastle than when facing any other Premier League club. While Robin van Persie has scored five times in his last five starts against Newcastle.
Newcastle United to win: 4.0
Manchester United: 1.90
TV: Live on Sky Sports at 4pm, highlights on BBC1 at 10.25pm