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Combined XI: Newcastle v Manchester United (Current)

Ahead of Newcastle's clash with Manchester United at St James' Park this weekend, we have assembled a combined XI made up of players from Eddie Howe and Erik ten Hag's sides.

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Typically, you would expect a Premier League combined XI between Newcastle and Man Utd to be dominated by representatives of the Red Devils, but the contrasting outlooks at St James' Park and Old Trafford casts a rather different picture at present.

This is the team we have decided on, lined up in a 4-4-2 formation:

GK: Nick Pope (Newcastle)

Signed from Burnley for just £10m at the beginning of last season, Nick Pope has proved to be a shrewd signing for Eddie Howe's Newcastle, with the Magpies' goals against total of 33 last season the joint-lowest in the division alongside champions Manchester City.

An imposing presence at 6ft 3ins, Pope is an outstanding shot-stopper capable of making match-winning saves.

Capped 10 times by England, Pope will be hoping another strong campaign in the Premier League for Newcastle this year will be enough to ensure he takes his place on the plane as Gareth Southgate's Three Lions head to the Euros in Germany next summer.
 

RB: Kieran Trippier (Newcastle)

The first signing under Newcastle's Saudi ownership in January 2022, ex-Tottenham and Atletico Madrid right-back Kieran Trippier has been a revelation on Tyneside.

Assuming the club captaincy shortly after arriving at Newcastle, Trippier was an influential figure as the Geordie side were able to achieve Champions League qualification last season for the first time in 20 years.

As a regular set-piece taker, England international Trippier is one of Newcastle's most prominent creative outlets going forward, whilst also forming part a watertight backline which has underpinned Eddie Howe's side's success in recent times.
 

CB: Fabian Schar (Newcastle)

Arguably one of the most underrated players in the Premier League, Switzerland international centre-back Fabian Schar has been a mainstay for Newcastle under Eddie Howe, with the 31-year-old forming a formidable partnership with his Dutch defensive partner Sven Botman.

A reliable defender adept at reading the game, Schar is also very accomplished in possession and capable of scoring spectacular goals.
 

CB: Sven Botman (Newcastle)

Acquired from Ligue 1 outfit Lille for £35m last summer, Dutch centre-back Sven Botman has been a resounding success at Newcastle, with the 23-year-old rapidly developing into one of the top defenders in the country.

A left-footed central defender, Botman complements regular centre-back partner Fabian Schar's game nicely, with both defenders comfortable playing out from the back as well as being strong in the air.
 

LB: Luke Shaw (Man Utd)

Making his return to fitness in United's 3-0 win at Everton at Goodison after three months out with a muscle injury, Luke Shaw's calmness and composure at left-back has been a big miss for Erik ten Hag's side.

A key player under Ten Hag last term - playing 31 of 38 Premier League fixtures as the Red Devils comfortably secured Champions League qualification - Shaw is a reliable player who is both robust defensively and a creative asset going forward.

Man Utd have struggled to field a consistent backline this term, with Sergio Reguilon, Diogo Dalot and Victor Lindelof all deputising for the England left-back in his conspicuous absence.
 

RM: Miguel Almiron (Newcastle)

Although Miguel Almiron's unrelenting work rate and endeavour meant he was always a popular figure at St James' Park, his final product was always questioned prior to Eddie Howe's arrival.

The former Bournemouth boss has been able to take the Paraguayan's game to a level many felt would never be possible, with the attacking midfielder going on an incredible run of form in the Premier League last term when notching eight goals in nine games in the lead up to the World Cup in Qatar.

The goals have since dried up, but Almiron continues to provide plenty thrust and threat down Newcastle's right flank.
 

CM: Bruno Guimaraes (Newcastle)

Despite interest from a plethora of top clubs across the continent, Newcastle were able to prise Bruno Guimaraes away from Lyon to the north east of England for £40m in January 2022, with the Brazilian midfielder quickly turning into a firm fans' favourite at St James' Park with his classy and combative displays.

A complete midfielder with an all-encompassing skillset, Guimaraes has played the majority of this season in a holding role, dictating the tempo of matches from deep with the likes of Joelinton and Sean Longstaff given license to roam.

Typically South American in spirit with terrific work rate and a willingness to put a foot in where need be, Guimaraes also possesses the technical prowess to create and score goals for Newcastle.
 

CM: Bruno Fernandes (Man Utd)

Although enduring a difficult season to date under the auspices of Erik ten Hag, Portuguese playmaker Bruno Fernandes remains one of the top midfielders in the country on his day.

At his best when protected by a solid defensive structure behind him and given the freedom to focus on contributing in the attacking third, Fernandes is a midfielder capable of posting league-leading numbers in terms of goals and assists when at top form.

Named Man Utd captain at the start of the season, Fernandes is a fiery character whose will to win can at times spill over into petulance on the pitch.
 

LM: Marcus Rashford (Man Utd)

England international Marcus Rashford is another Man Utd player who has struggled badly for form so far this term, but there is no doubting the 26-year-old's quality when confident and firing.

Although capable of leading the line, Rashford appears most comfortable when utilised on the left flank, with the Man Utd academy product lethal in transitions and counter-attacking situations where he can destroy teams with his pace and directness.

It is becoming increasingly apparent that Rashford is a player who relies on confidence and momentum, and it is unlikely to be long before the goals start to return on a more regular basis for the Mancunian in a red shirt.
 

ST: Alexander Isak (Newcastle)

As Newcastle's record signing, arriving from Real Sociedad for £63m last summer, Swedish striker Alexander Isak already looks to have been worth every penny.

A tall and gangly figure, 24-year-old Isak possesses a deceptive turn of pace and sublime close control, and when opportunities present themselves he is a lethal finisher.

The ex-Borussia Dortmund striker has a very impressive goal record in the Premier League so far, averaging over a goal every two games in the English top flight.
 

ST: Callum Wilson (Newcastle)

Despite the big-money signing of Alexander Isak, Callum Wilson continues to be a pivotal figure for Eddie Howe's Newcastle.

Whether the two strikers are rotated or both are fit into the same team with Isak shoehorned out on the left, the clinical Wilson continues to hit goals with admirable consistency.

Notching an impressive 18 goals in 31 Premier League games last season to help fire Newcastle to the Champions League, Wilson had the best goals per 90 minutes ratio in the division behind Man City sensation Erling Haaland.
 

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