Manchester United’s Jonny Evans wary of Newcastle United attacking threat ahead of Boxing Day clash

By John McDougall

Manchester United defender Jonny Evans is warning his team-mates not to take Newcastle United lightly when they come to Old Trafford today.

United will be looking to maintain a four-point lead over close rivals Manchester City at the summit of the Premier League.

But Evans is wary of the aerial threat the Magpies Senegalese strike force of Demba Ba and Papiss Cissé pose to the United rearguard.

“Those guys are both very powerful,” said the Northern Irishman. “What Newcastle do very well is work the ball wide and put it in the box.

“A lot of their goals come that way because Ba and Cissé don’t give you a minute.

“When the ball is floating around in the box, they beat people in the air and their goal record is what got Newcastle to where they were last year.” 

United have conceded 25 Premier League goals so far this season, but have beaten Newcastle twice already this season, including a 3-0 win at St James’ Park in October.

However, Evans’ message is echoed by team-mate Danny Welbeck, with the Longsight-born striker also citing Ba and Cissé as the Magpies principal threat.

“You can still see potential throughout their team,” said Welbeck.

“They have some real attacking threats – everyone knows about players like Ba and Cissé.

“All I can do is watch their games, look for any weaknesses and then do some damage on the pitch if I get the chance.”

Manager Sir Alex Ferguson is likely to rotate his squad for the game, with Welbeck, Javier Hernandez and Darren Fletcher in contention to start.

Brazilian right-back Rafael Da Silva, however, faces a late fitness check on a thigh injury.

Image courtesy of Sky Sports, via YouTube, with thanks.

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