Manchester United will face Newcastle United this season in one of the most iconic fixtures in Premier League history.
The Magpies are no longer a top force, but they remain relevant in English football and the renewal of a rivalry between two managers adds an extra layer of intrigue to the meeting this season.
The home side will be overwhelming favourites to win the match, but if any manager could lead Newcastle to a positive result, it is Rafa Benitez.
Here are three to start and three to drop from this fixture ahead of the return of Draft Fantasy:
Three to start
Romelu Lukaku – There will be many Romelu Lukaku owners that have given up and opted to get rid of him in order to bring in a striker in better form. They can be forgiven for that as he hasn’t scored in the Premier League since September. However, the Belgian international has a good record against Newcastle with five goals and four assists in eight matches. He will be eyeing goals in this fixture after a positive showing for his country during the break. The Magpies have a good defensive record, but Lukaku remains the player they will fear this weekend.
Any Manchester United defender – The defenders and David de Gea have been a reliable source of points this season, especially when they come up against the teams outside of the top-six. Newcastle have scored at a rate of less than one a game and they have blanked in each of their last two Premier League fixtures. Manchester United will be confident of keeping a clean sheet this weekend.
Matt Ritchie – It would be a risk to field any Newcastle United player, but sometimes those risks pay off in big style. The best chance that Newcastle have of finding the net this weekend will be from set-pieces and the delivery of Ritchie will be vital to that. Benitez will know that their greatest threat will be from dead balls and a lot of preparation will have been done during the international break. The Scottish international has four assists this season and will be hopeful of adding to that this weekend if he gets his delivery right.
Three to drop
Henrikh Mkhitaryan – The Armenian international has been a regular in the three to drop this season and those that continue to own him are making a big mistake. At the beginning of the season, he was looking like a must-own in Draft Fantasy, but he hasn’t contributed a goal or an assist in the Premier League since September and he rarely makes it through ninety minutes. It is only a matter of time before he is dropped from the starting eleven.
Jamaal Lascelles – The Newcastle captain has been their best defender in Draft Fantasy to date with 52 points earned and he is pushing for an England call-up. However, he suffered an injury against Bournemouth and is not likely to feature at Old Trafford. This has consequences for the rest of the defence as they don’t look as reliable without their leader.
Joselu – The summer signing looked to be a good third forward option at the beginning of the season, as he was a starter and getting a lot of shots in on goal. The quality may not have been there, but volume always appeals to Draft Fantasy managers. The last few weeks have been disappointing for the striker and he may find himself dropped from the first eleven soon. There are better options out there that play for mid-table clubs.