Across the festive period, Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick may have to shuffle his pack due to squad rotation and potential player suspensions.
Any player earning five bookings from their side’s first 19 Premier League games will serve a one-match suspension, but bans are not carried over to the FA Cup.
Players who accumulate 10 yellow cards in Premier League matches up to and including the 32nd gameweek will serve a two-match suspension in the league.
Newcastle midfielder Isaac Hayden will miss the clash against United after picking up his fifth booking in the 4-0 defeat to Manchester City.
Following the postponements against Brentford and Brighton, United have only played 16 league games and therefore have several players who will have to tread carefully before their 20th fixture to escape a ban.
Bruno Fernandes is on four bookings heading into the clash at St James’ Park, A booking against Eddie Howe’s side would mean the Portuguese ‘Magnifico’ would miss the home game against Burnley three days later.
Luke Shaw, Fred and Scott McTominay are also one yellow card away from being ruled out of the next game. Paul Pogba also has four bookings to his name, but he’s unlikely to be back in action until the new year due to injury.
Rangnick has gone with Fred and McTominay as his midfield pairing in his two Premier League games in charge of the club so far.
There is every chance that one or possibly even both of the ‘McFred’ partnership could pick up a booking on Tyneside, especially with Rangnick’s high-intensity, aggressive, pressing approach, which could see Donny van de Beek and Nemanja Matic come back into the side.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire are amongst a host of Premier League players currently on three bookings, so the pair will have to watch their step.
The luxury for Rangnick is that he has a massive squad at his disposal that should be able to cope with any forthcoming potential suspensions.
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