Manchester United vs. Newcastle United

Top of the table Manchester United host Newcastle United on Boxing Day, hoping to return to winning ways after dropping points last time out against Swansea City.

Sunday’s draw was the Red Devil’s first of the season, and the result saw their lead at the top cut to just four points following Manchester City’s late winner against Reading a day before.

Sir Alex Ferguson is set to make several changes to his starting line-up, with Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck and Darren Fletcher all in contention, though Rafael may miss out through injury.

Top scorer Robin Van Persie is the 4.0 (3/1) favourite to get the first goal of the game, just ahead of Wayne Rooney who is a 5.0 (4/1) shot with Ladbrokes.

The hosts are odds on at a best price of 1.25 (1/4), with Newcastle as highly priced as 13.0 (12/1). The draw is widely available 6.5 (11/2).

The visitors ended a run of three straight defeats with a 1-0 victory over struggling Queens Park Rangers on Saturday, and now sit in fourteenth place, five points above the relegation zone.

Alan Pardew will be without Check Tiote who serves a one match ban while Hatem Ben Arfa, Steven Taylor, Yohan Cabaye and Ryan Taylor are all out injured.

Top scorer Demba Ba is generously priced with some firms at 13.0 (12/1) to score first while Shoala Ameobi, who got his first league goal of the season at the weekend is 19.0 (18/1) with Bet 365.