Manchester United vs Newcastle

Man Utd v Newcastle preview: Ashley Young back in contention as hosts look to end winless run

Manchester United are looking to avoid going five matches without a win for just the second time since 1999

Ashley Young is back in contention for Manchester United’s crucial Premier League clash at home to Newcastle on Saturday (kick-off 5.30pm).

A minor unspecified injury meant Young missed Tuesday’s Champions League draw with Valencia, which Marcos Rojo, Jesse Lingard and Ander Herrera also sat out through injury.

Manchester United are looking to avoid going five matches without a win for just the second time since 1999 and Jose Mourinho admited that would be unacceptable for a club of United’s size.

When it was put to Mourinho on Friday morning that such a run for a club of United’s size is not acceptable, he said: “Yes, I accept (it is not good enough).”

United have not won at Old Trafford since the opening day of the season – a run that extended on Tuesday when Valencia secured a 0-0 draw. That Champions League result followed the loss to Tottenham, draw with Wolves and Carabao Cup exit on penalties to Derby, which Mourinho does not class as a defeat.

“Only one defeat at home all season, only one defeat in the last seven matches,” he said. “But not victories at home in the past three matches – three draws. Not the feeling of the defeat, but not the happiness of the victory. So, yes, it is important for us to try and win this match on Saturday.”

Meanwhile, Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez is remaining tight-lipped about the midweek dinner he and his players enjoyed with owner Mike Ashley.

The manager and his squad met with the sportswear magnate at a Ponteland restaurant on Wednesday evening, but the Spaniard was giving little away as he held his pre-match press conference on Friday about what was said.

Benitez said: “It was a pleasant dinner and that’s it. Everything we were talking about will stay between us. Normally with all the teams I have been, you used to have some kind of dinners with the owners or the president, and it is something very common in football.”

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